Want to find out about something really new and very cool? Microsoft has added a powerful new feature to Excel in Office 2013 called Power Map. They have used MCH data to demonstrate Power Map a couple of times. One of the uses was a demonstration by John Gagnon, a Microsoft Bing advocate. He used it to show how school opening dates varied around the U.S. and how that distribution could be used by big box retailers to time their back-to-school promotions to the reality of their locations.
After John Gagnon’s demonstration the Microsoft Power Map development team invited MCH’s Peter Long and Kirk Chritton to Redmond Washington to help record a video about Power Map. The video shows how MCH’s emergency response data can be used by civil authorities in a weather-related emergency, in this case a hurricane in Florida. Everyone to whom I have showed this video is very impressed at the capability of Power Map.
The Microsoft team is very aware of the tricky aspects of mapping data. The Excel application has tools that make it very easy to pull data into a map view. That will make it very easy for novice users like me and many other non-tech folks to create map visuals to support presentations, identify trends, and make a myriad of other discoveries from data. Very exciting!