In the first training session, you learned how to import a .csv dataset, but there is a lot that we breezed over. Here is everything you need to know about importing data into SpatialKey. There is more in this document than you’ll probably ever need, but treat this as your overall resource for importing data. You may find you need some more advanced options in the near future.

1) What type of data works best in SpatialKey?

You are all ready to visualize data in SpatialKey, but let’s take a step back and look at what type of data SpatialKey can consume. By taking a little bit of time with your data up front, you can save a lot of time and energy once in the SpatialKey application. Also, there are also size limits for datasets that are set uniquely for your organization. It’s important to understand these limits so you don’t run into roadblocks when importing your data.

2) Diving deeper into the Data Upload Wizard

The most common way to import data into SpatialKey is via the Data Upload Wizard. The Data Upload Wizard allows you to upload a new dataset or replace/append data to an existing dataset. There are a lot of options packed into the simple Data Upload Wizard workflow so let’s take some time to review each of them. Learn more >>

3) Geocoding options

It’s time to learn about geocoding! It’s likely that your organization only has one geocoder available to use in SpatialKey, but it’s possible that your organization may license additional geocoders. All geocoders do the same thing – translate address information into latitude and longitude coordinates so it can be placed on a map. Although all geocoders do the same thing, they all have different logic to obtaining the latitude and longitude coordinate. Let’s learn more about geocoding in SpatialKey and what information results from geocoding your dataset in SpatialKey. Learn more >>

After you’ve geocoded your dataset, it’s important to understand how well your data geocoded. Learn more >>

4) Thematic mapping options

Thematic maps (aka. Choropleth maps) show a color-coded distribution of a metric for a given unit of geography, like states/provinces, postal codes, or custom business territories. There are a lot of thematic mapping options in SpatialKey – there are built-in layers (depending on what your organization licenses) and it’s really easy to upload a custom thematic boundary. During import, you can enable or disable any of the built in thematic layers. Learn more >>

Let’s give it a try

You’ll want to download our sample insurance dataset (download .csv file) for the following examples.

  1. Import the dataset using the existing latitude and longitude coordinates and enable all thematic layers available. Hint, this dataset is US exposures only.
  2. Import the dataset again. This time using the address information to geocode. Again, enable all thematic layers.
  3. Import the dataset again. This time you can pick whether to use latitude/longitude or address information to geocode. Turn off all thematic layers.

Open these datasets in a dashboard. Notice how the first two imports are quite similar – some locations may have geocoded to slightly different latitude/longitude coordinates just based on the selected geocoder methodology. Did you notice that the third import doesn’t have any thematic mapping options available? This is because we disabled them during import.

Let’s try one more import, this time defining field types in headers. Open the csv and start defining the field types for some or all of the fields. If you define the field types for all of the fields, you may find that some Data Upload Wizard steps are skipped!

Import topics for another day

We’ve already covered a lot in this training section so we will defer a few import topics for a later time. If you want to jump into these right away, please don’t let us hold you back!

  • Defining field types in headers – this one is a time saver! Instead of identifying the column types during the step in the Data Upload Wizard, you can provide data types in the .csv file headers. Learn more >>
  • Finding data in the Data Mart – If enabled for your organization, the Data Mart is a great resource for finding interesting data that can enhance your analytics in SpatialKey. Once you find what you are looking for, it’s a simple step to import it into your organization. Learn more >>
  • Use the API to import data – SpatialKey supports a variety of APIs to help our systems talk to your systems. We even have a version of the Data Management API that doesn’t require any programming knowledge to use! Learn more >>