(Greg Marshall, email@example.com) Matthew, our intrepid Student Manager programmer, has added a great new feature to Student Manager. You can now map addresses to Microsoft Bing maps to help visualize customer information.
Here’s some information straight from Matthew:
“First, if you do not have virtualearth.htm and json.fll in your manager folder, you will need to obtain mapping.zip from the Tools section of our FTP site and unzip it to get those files. Please visit your tech if you need the username and password and instructions on getting to the FTP.
Second, you need to pick a report any report. The only requirement is that the report must have the address fields you wish to map. This is not limited to students. You can map firms, instructors, and course locations. If the report has more than one type of address, it will ask you which one to map.
Third, you must modify the report to add one field. That field is: justafter([do mapping])
Fourth, when you get to the map (after the report runs), you need to hit the Go button. It’s one of those deals where I can load the data and load the map, but I couldn’t load them both at the same time. So, the button merges the two pieces together.
That’s it! Of course, repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 as needed if you have more than one report you want to map. Otherwise, just run the report as needed with different queries. Might I suggest that you run this out of Mailing Labels to really take advantage of the query aspect of looking at your markets.
Now, I must disclose a few downsides to this. If you have hundreds of people to map, you will need to grab a Snickers bar during your wait. Also, if your IT has restrictions on your Internet Explorer, chances are this will not run properly. Finally, if you have multiple people at the same address, a pushpin will only get created on that address once. So, if you are looking for numbers of people and you do have several people in a household that take your courses, you will be slightly off looking at the map. Oh, and there is just no way to map a P.O. Box, so those will be filtered out of your display as well.”
This ability is very powerful. Use it to visualize data that can be hard to see in data form. This includes seeing which neighborhoods are producing the most registrations. Why? Knowing where your registrations come from allows you to adjust your marketing away from areas you don’t get customers into areas where your customers are coming from. You can also map data about a particular class. By seeing where your students for a particular class are coming from (or type of class) you can adjust where that class is being held at to move it closer to your audience…potentially increasing enrollments.
Watch our YouTube video that explains in more detail: Mapping Data in Student Manager