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MapInfo Monday: Redistricting with MapInfo Pro - Part II

  • 1.  MapInfo Monday: Redistricting with MapInfo Pro - Part II

    Posted 01-23-2023 06:36
    Another Happy #MapInfoMonday!

    Peter wrote a Monday article back in November regarding the Redistricting feature in MapInfo to help divide and define territories. My first MapInfo training (just a few years ago!!) demonstrated the use of this in a Sales scenario. Very useful, I thought, and I could demonstrate the usefulness of having this visual aid in assigning and re-assigning locations to different territories. Then I found more uses for this feature other than just "Sales"...
    So Peter asked me to write Part II.

    Redistricting Sales data:
    Let's start with some Customer data.

    Once more, from the Redistricter drop-down on the Map tab, select >New Redistricter Window.
    In the New Redistrict Window dialog, you need to select the table and the field defining a Territory or District. Then we can add further fields to browse, holding the data that will help you add some weight behind the symbol on the map.
    In my example, the dialog is already populated with the basic fields.

    I am also going to add the Available Field "Sum(Value)" - which the Redistricter has already determined would be a useful factor. I haven't had to generate these fields. This gives us that additional weighting factor in our Districts Browser that will help us to assign and balance our territories, other than just a count of records.

    Now we can see our 4 Territories colour-coded with a Count of records and a Total Value per Territory. Just click on the symbol in the Browser window to change colour and styles.
    There are also 28 new customer records that have not been assigned and are currently marked as yellow and a Territory *****.

    If I now select the "Northern" Territory in the Districts Browser and then select the 2 unassigned (yellow) records on the map below, you will see the values change in the Browser.

    Geographically, these 2 records make sense to be in the Northern territory but you can also see the effect of adding these 2 to the total value instantaneously. You can keep selecting - and de-selecting - records to examine the impact of adding different records to territories. Then, in order to actually assign/commit the records, you need to go back to the Redistricter tool and select >Assign District.
    Redistricting and Assign District to commit

    When your data is quite dynamic, you may need to perform Redistricting quite often to match your resources to the workloads. You may need to increase your Sales Team or re-assign customers to a different territory. Can your organisation remain agile in this scenario?

    Not Sales!
    Now consider other areas of business that could benefit from this approach.
    We have helped users handle the task of delivering Social Care in the Community to balance workloads in a very dynamic environment. In these instances, we can assign time (number of minutes) as the indicator of different tasks, which may also include travelling time. The focus may switch from "territories" to "teams" in this instance. This can help re-balance weekly workloads, especially where you need to look at the map as the vital factor.
    Add the extremely useful RouteFinder for MapInfo application to further help optimise and reduce travel routes

    I hope this has given you some more food for thought on this very useful feature in MapInfo.

    John Ievers
    CDR Group
    Hope Valley, United Kingdom