Microsoft recently released a beta of their GeoFlow add-on for Excel 2013. It is a pretty amazing geo visualization tool. I brought in a simple set of data from the U.S. Census on Washington State population by county and quickly put this together.
First and foremost, before you begin your mapping adventure, you need to make sure you have your data well-formed before starting. I found that if you don’t have good column names in the data, then it uses whatever is there and you can’t really go back and change it without having to start over.
You can throw a chart of the data on top of the map. Not really useful unless you are going to publish this image into a PowerPoint or Word document for publication. I’m still trying find out where you can add labels to the top of a bar.
I think the neatest feature is if you have time series data. Meaning, data with DATES, then you can use the play button and see your bars grow over time. It is great from a presentation and maybe from a data scientist perspective. I could see some of our marketing over time and how it lights up across the U.S. Very interesting.
I look forward to seeing what else gets added before launch. I, for one, am happy to see Microsoft putting out these FREE add-ons to Excel 2013.
If you would like help getting started with this tool for your analytical adventures, contact me and I would be happy to give you an assist.