You Ask, I Answer: ZIP Code Mapping for Sales Territories?

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You Ask, I Answer: ZIP Code Mapping for Sales Territories?

Maria asks, “I need to create a zip code territory map with each area represented by a different color (that I can pick). It will be exported as a graphic file. Are there any free/low cost options for this that are easy to use?”

Download all the ZIP codes from the USPS/ and then code them in Excel. Upload to Tableau Public (free) and color by the coding. I typically find great datasets like this on sites like, Kaggle, and Today’s dataset comes from Watch the video for a walkthrough of exactly how to do this.

When you’re done it should look like this:

You Ask, I Answer: ZIP Code Mapping for Sales Territories?

You Ask, I Answer: ZIP Code Mapping for Sales Territories?

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, Maria asks, I need to create a zip code territory map with each area represented by a different color that I can pick it will be exploited as a graphic value any free low cost options for this that are easy to use.


The tool of choice here for this is going to be Tableau Tableau public.

So Tableau is software, which is now a Salesforce company has a bunch of different versions ranging from free to egregiously expensive and Tableau public for this kind of project is going to be ideal because your output is just a graphic and it can even be an interactive graphic and post publicly on Tableau public’s website.

Full disclosure Tableau public price for being free is that you have to post the data publicly, you cannot save it locally, but you can take a screenshot that for what you’re trying to do, maybe good enough.

So first, you have to start by getting the zip code data The easiest place to get this from is the US government.

Now, fortunately, many, many, many people have already done this.

If you go to sites like Kaggle, in this case, data dot world as the one I’m going to use, people have already put these data files together.

So let’s let’s flip over here and and do this live.

Start by going into data that world and identifying the zip code tabulation area database you want.

US Postal Service zip codes are not exactly mapped to what are called zip code tabulation areas which is done by the Census Bureau.

But for sales territories, it’s going to be good enough like if you’re flying drones with flight plans, you might want to use something different but for this type of project, you are done via just fine with ZZTA.

Now from there, you’re going to want to open up and find one of the files, any of these files in here by Metro whatever and it should be about 28,000 Records.

You’ll notice that if you open this up in in a tool like Excel, you’re going to have It’s going to treat best calm as a number.

So make sure that you you make a modification to the number format here.

And we want this to be very specific, we want to be a custom 12345 like so that will fix those leading zeros.

The rest of the state of for the most part you’re not going to need so let’s go ahead and drop that.

And then based on the territory let’s put a column here called owner and I’ll make let’s go for the first thousand these will make mine make the next few thousand Let’s get down here.

Those Katie’s my SEO and then will make our head of business development on the rest, like so.

paste that in.

There we go.

Now we’re going to save this file.

And this file will now take and open up in Tableau public.

So it’s just a straight up text file, very easy to use.

Open our text file.

Let’s go ahead and find it.

And specified this.

This is a geographic role.

So this is going to be a zip code role.

That’s the sort of the secret to this thing.

They have a goat we’ve got that we’ve got the owner go to worksheet.

And now let’s put our zip code and then map type here.

We want to filled map because the Or a little tough to see.

Right? And now our owners will be colored.

And we can see pretty clearly that we have identified these different territories by the ZCTA fives.

Now you’ll notice there are some gaps here.

Why? Because ZCTA is put together by the Census Bureau.

There’s not enough people in some of these spaces to have a essentially surveys, right.

So if you need the exact, you know, if you want this map to look pristine, you’re going to probably want to use the US Postal Service actual zip codes rather than ZCTS.

For the purposes of sales territory, as though there’s no people here there’s no one to sell to.

Right, so that’s probably okay.

But you can see just by going to the spreadsheet and identifying the columns by owner we have this lovely colored map here that we can then take that out and if you will Want to just take a screenshot of this, you won’t be able to save this as a particular screenshot and put that into your slide deck.

Or you can save it to Tableau public, save the tableau public and then have it be available as a interactive file on the public Internet.

So that’s how you do this.

Again, this was not a super intensive project, because Tableau already has the geographic mapping data built right into it, which is super, super handy.

So I would encourage you to play with it.

There’s a lot of fun to be had.

There’s a lot of fun to be had in general with things like data world and Kaggle is that there’s so much data that’s available that you can visualize and work with but this is how I would approach this particular project.

So you know, follow up questions, leave them in the comments box below.

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