SimplyMap Tip: Using a Radius Location

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In this week’s SimplyMap tip, we outline the process of creating a radius location. Radius locations are a great way to quickly gather information from an area surrounding a target address or neighborhood. In this example, we want to pull information from a 3 mile radius around a university campus.

First, open the locations panel in SimplyMap and Find location by: Block Groups. Next, Find the block group by address. When SimplyMap finds your location, select Create custom location and choose Radius.


Enter your value in the available box, and give this location a name. Select Use This Location, and pick a variable of your choosing to quickly create a map. SimplyMap will generate a 3 mile radius around the address entered, as shown below.


Another great feature of radius locations is that they function as a custom location that can be used for reports. To quickly make a report, select Actions > Make Ranking from Map.


This will generate a ranking report of all the smaller geographies within the 3 mile radius from campus. Similarly, you can create a Standard Report or Location Analysis report using your new radius location.

Standard Report with Radius Location


Location Analysis Report with Radius Location


We hope you found this week’s SimplyMap tip to be helpful. Stay tuned for more!

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Identifying Top PRIZM Segments

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SimplyMap is an excellent tool for market research, and it’s made even more powerful by Nielsen PRIZM data. Nielsen PRIZM is the highest quality market segment data available. Every household in the United States is assigned to one of 66 segments, and Nielsen provides detailed information about each segment, such as demographic characteristics, shopping habits, financial and technology preferences, media habits, and much more.

PRIZM segments define every U.S. household in terms of 66 demographically and behaviorally distinct types, or “segments,” to help marketers discern those consumers’ likes, dislikes, lifestyles and purchase behaviors. Used by thousands of marketers within Fortune 500 companies, PRIZM provides the “common language” for marketing in an increasingly diverse and complex American marketplace.

Let’s start by identifying the largest PRIZM segments in some target locations.

First, create a Standard Report using your target locations. We’ll compare some different ZIP codes within and including the city of Boston, MA. Next, navigate to the PRIZM segments. You will want to select each # segment within that folder. Lastly, close the window to generate your report.

To locate the highest segment within each location, hover over a location and select Sort Descending. SimplyMap will reprocess the report, showing the highest figure at the top for the selected location.

prizm1Here are the results for each ZIP code and the city of Boston.

02210: Young Digerati
02115: Urban Achievers
Boston: Bohemian Mix

To find out more information about each segment, hover over the segment and select View Metadata. The metadata for each segment above is presented below:

ZIP Code 02210: Young Digerati


ZIP Code 02115: Urban Achievers


Boston, MA: Bohemian Mix Metadata


We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog. Stay tuned for more reports and SimplyMap tips! If you haven’t already, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook to get yourself entered into our Winter Sweepstakes!


Pizza Restaurants in Chicago’s Loop

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Our recent trip to Chicago exhibiting at the ALA Midwinter Meeting inspired this week’s SimplyMap blog post. Today, we’re going to demonstrate how to use business points in SimplyMap to answer a basic question that a person opening a business might ask – what’s the competition like in the area?

To emulate a real world scenario, we only want to look at a specific area. In this example, our location will be “The Loop” in Chicago. The Loop in Chicago is composed of these ZIP codes: 60601, 60602, 60603, 60604, and parts of 60605, 60606, 60607, and 60616.

First, create a custom location that is composed of the aforementioned ZIP codes.

chicago_pizza1Next, select a pertinent variable for your map. In this example, we will use: Food away from home (Household Average), 2014 to identify the areas where people tend to eat out for meals.

chicago_pizza2Now that you have a map showing the custom area mapped with the chosen variable, you can add the relevant business points.

Select “Businesses” from the left panel and type in the search “pizza restaurant”. Select “show businesses” and SimplyMap will place a point on the address of each relevant business.

chicago_pizza3Lastly, to see a list of these business points in a report, select “Actions” from the top right of SimplyMap and click “Make Report from Businesses”. Here’s a sample of what to expect:


We hope you enjoyed this week’s SimplyMap report. Stay tuned for more interesting reports and tips!

Have you already entered for your chance to win an iPad or Kindle Fire? We will be holding the drawing on April 17, 2015. To enter, simply follow us on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook to get your name in consideration.


Exploring SimplyMap Data: America’s Work from Home Employees

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In this week’s report exploring SimplyMap data, we want to find out where America’s remote workers reside. To find this, we can tap into the Census data in SimplyMap. The specific variable is titled: % Employment, Work at Home, 2014.

To get started ranking geographies, first select New Ranking at the top of the SimplyMap screen. Next, locate the variable by following this path: Census Data » In 2010 Geographies » People and Households » Employment » Travel to Work » Mode.

Lastly, to view this data by state select Locations, and set it to USA.

From the Analyze Data By dropdown, select “States” to rank the USA by all states. The results are shown below:



At 7.41%, Vermont ranks first in the US for remote workers. For reference, the national percentage is 4.38. Does anyone have insight as to why Vermont ranks first? A list of the most common employment industries in Vermont is below:


Lastly, we can look at the data by a different geography – change the Analyze Data By dropdown to display Cities. We can also apply a population filter to only show cities with a population greater than 100,000. Here are the results:


Boulder, CO ranks first in the United States for Work at Home employees. We think this could be attributed to the number of software and tech firms that have opened up or moved to that city in recent years.

We hope you found this SimplyMap report interesting. Stay tuned for more SimplyMap tips and interesting data reports.

Have you already entered for your chance to win an iPad or Kindle Fire? We will be holding the drawing on April 17, 2015. To enter, simply follow us on Twitter and Like Us on Facebook to get your name in consideration.


Exploring SimplyMap Data: America’s Coffee Drinkers

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In this week’s edition of exploring SimplyMap data, we take a look at America’s coffee drinkers. SimplyMap contains more than 100 coffee related variables, including consumer spending on coffee by brand and by number of coffee cups consumed per day. For this example, lets look at a broader indicator related to coffee – whether or not a household uses coffee at all. The variable, % BEVERAGES – NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS | GROUND OR WHOLE BEAN COFFEE | GROUND OR WHOLE BEAN COFFEE-HH USES? | YES, 2013 can be found in the SimmonsLOCAL folder.

SimmonsLOCAL is a profiling system that provides insights into consumer behavior for 210 American media markets on a local level with 60,000+ data variables, including over 450 categories and 8,000 specific brands. It is a powerful resource that provides insight into consumer spending and behavior, and very popular with business students and researchers.

We begin by creating a ranking report, and setting the geography to USA. Next, under the Analyze Data By drop down, select states. The results are shown below:


At 70.24%, New Hampshire narrowly edges out Rhode Island (70.18%) and Maine (69.75%) as the top states for household coffee drinking in the US.

When we analyze by City, (by again adjusting the Analyze Data By drop down), and apply a population filter of greater than 75,000, the following cities make the top 10.


The residents of Lawrence, MA claim the top spot in the US (cities with population > 75k) for coffee drinkers at home. Lastly, we viewed the city of Lawrence by census tract.


It looks like many of the residents in Lawrence, MA drink their coffee by the Merrimack River. What insights can be drawn from this? What other questions arise? Are there specific characteristics of these States, Cities, or Census Tracts that make their residents more inclined to drink coffee at home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Stay tuned for more SimplyMap tips and reports! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to stay up to date on all things SimplyMap (and score an entry to our iPad and Kindle Fire raffle while you are at it!).


Our Winter Sweepstakes has begun!

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Our Winter Sweepstakes has begun! Enter to win an iPad Mini 3 or Kindle Fire.

How to Enter:

  1. Follow @SimplyMap on Twitter
  2. Like our SimplyMap Facebook Page for a 2nd Chance to Win
  3. If you are an existing Fan, you’re automatically entered


Official Rules: Entries must be completed during the promotion period, from January 27th, 2015 through April 15th, 2015. No purchase necessary. Available to US and Canadian residents only (excluding Quebec) age 18 and older. Void where prohibited. The odds of winning will be determined by the number of eligible entries received. The Grand Prize is an iPad Mini 3 64GB, valued at $499, and the First Prize is a Kindle Fire HDX 7, valued at $199. Winners will be determined on April 17th, 2015 by random drawing from all eligible entries received. Winners will be notified via Facebook or Twitter by April 22nd, 2015.


Exploring SimplyMap Data: America’s Bookworms

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In this week’s report exploring SimplyMap data, we take a look at where America’s bookworms reside. To find this data, we used the variable, Reading (Household Average), 2014 found in the Consumer Expenditure folder. This variable encompasses all expenses used on magazine subscriptions, newspaper subscriptions, and books.

To make this report, we chose to utilize a Ranking Report. First, we took a look at the top 10 states:


At a yearly household average of $133.60, the state of New Hampshire ranks first in the United States in spending on reading material. For reference, the United States at large totaled $116.85. Next, we applied a data filter to view cities with a population of more than 75,000. The results are as follows:


San Jose, CA ranks first in the United States for household spending on reading materials. California is also well represented in the top 10 with San Diego (2), San Francisco (3), and Los Angeles (7) also ranking in the top 10.

Stay tuned for more SimplyMap data reports and tips!


SimplyMap Tip – Choosing the Correct Report

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SimplyMap offers a total of 5 unique types of reports: Standard Report, Ranking Report, Business Report, Ring Study, and Location Analysis. This brief write up will define what each report does, and provide a real-world example of each.

Standard Report definition – a table comparing multiple variables across several locations/location types.

Standard Report real-world use – you are applying for a grant for your city, and would like to analyze some socioeconomic variables to compare your city against the county, state, and United States.


Ranking Report definition – a table ranking up to 250 locations within a single geography (ex. zipcodes within a city) and single data variable.

Ranking Report real-world use – you are looking for a target area to open up a social program for low income areas and want to rank ZIP Codes in Atlanta, GA from lowest median income up.


Business Report definition – generates a report showing all businesses that meet your search criteria within a given location.

Business Report real-world use – you are thinking of opening up a pizza restaurant in a city, so you want to see a list of how many pizza restaurants already exist close to your desired location.


Ring Study definition – a demographic analysis of a target area based on a 1, 3, or 5 mile (or kilometer) radius around a location.

Ring Study real-world use – use to compare different variables in the immediate area, within a specified radius around the selected location.


Location Analysis definition – view & compare data for all counties in a state, ZIP codes in a city, census tracts in a county, etc.

Location Analysis real-world use – A medical equipment provider may review health data in a Location Analysis to identify cities in the state to consider visiting to market equipment for an ailment.


Stay tuned for more SimplyMap tips, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!


Exploring SimplyMap Data: America’s Historic Homes

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In this week’s exploration of SimplyMap data, we set out to find which cities in the United States have the highest percentage of older houses. To determine this, we used the variable “% Housing, Built 1939 or Earlier”. The metadata for this variable is shown below:


The ranking report allows SimplyMap users to analyze the data by different geographies. For example, if you select the United States as your location, you may rank the data by: USA, States, Congressional Districts, Counties, Cities, ZIP Codes, and Census Tracts.


First, we’ll take a look at the top 10 states. For reference, 12.71% of all of the housing stock in the USA was built before 1939.


Not surprisingly, the majority of the states with the highest percentage of older homes are located in the northeast. When we switched to cities and applied a population filter > 50,000 we were left with the following cities:


At 67.53% of homes built in 1939 or earlier, Cicero, IL ranks first among cities with populations greater than 50,000 in the United States. We then used the feature to make a map directly from the results page by hovering over Cicero, IL and selecting “Create Map” from the action drop down.


It looks like Cicero, IL is located about 10 miles west from the heart of Chicago.


Want more tips and examples of SimplyMap reports? Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to stay informed!


SimplyMap Tip: Creating a Custom Location

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Custom Locations allow SimplyMap users to combine several locations into one larger region. For example, you can use this feature to combine three adjacent ZIP Codes to create your study area.

In this example, we will take a look at neighborhoods (at the block group level) surrounding a university in Chicago.

To get started creating your custom location from the map, use the i-tool and select a location. There will be a drop down to “Add to Combination” with an option to “Create New Combination”.


This will open up a box to create your combination. Enter a name, and Save.


Once saved, your combination location will be available to have additional locations added to it. To add more locations, use the i-tool over a location once more, and select “Add to Combination” while choosing the combination that was just created.


Repeat this process with all locations you would like to include. Selecting the locations panel, and going to “Custom” will allow you to access your new location.


Below is a map representing the new custom location.


One of the additional features of creating a custom location, is that this location can be utilized throughout your reports. SimplyMap will combine the data from each individual location, and present the total for the combined custom location.


Method #2

The second method of creating a custom combination does not require the user to have the location in a recent or favorites, as described above.

1. Go to locations, and select your geography.

2. Check the box for Custom Location, as shown below:


3. Select “Combination Location” (by default the Radius Location will be checked)

4. If you don’t already have a custom area, select “Create Combination” and give the target area a name, as shown below:


5. Save

6. Now you can select the drop down of locations and add them into your new custom combination that you created.


When you’re ready to use your new location, select “Use This Combination”

Stay tuned for more SimplyMap tips and tricks! And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @SimplyMap.