Datazen – Map Not Working? May Never Guess Why

I recently started learning Datazen, along with a lot of folks since Microsoft purchased them. If you do searches on Datazen, there is information out there but not an enormous amount. There is a great overview video by my friend/colleague Megan Longoria at There is also some nice info at However there appears to be a HUGE void in posts that detail overcoming issues with the product. I’m sure that will change as more start digging into it. Here’s my first post to help fill the void. That and my karma can always use boosting so I wanted to get this post out asap in case it helps someone getting started as well.


Many know I love all things spatial so I was naturally drawn to doing one of the maps in Datazen. I get my data situated just right in Excel (another potential post there). There isn’t much to configure when setting up a map but I then do that. You can see what I had below.


I have some simple brewery/beer data (shocking I know). I wanted to visualize the location with a bubble and the size of the bubble based on beer ratings. I tried address, city, and then even state with no luck. I had hoped to get a more finely defined location but I knew I could get state by the examples and documentation here ( It just wouldn’t work at all and kept returning blank map with no bubbles when I would preview. After a stern cussing, I start to look at the sample tables of other map examples. One of the table examples is below.


I noticed they had state spelled out fully. Thinking to myself “No way that’s the problem. No way it’s that picky”. I start to give it a shot. You can see above I had used the state abbreviation. I add a column to my Excel data with the state fully spelled out and put that as the key. Lo and behold that fixed the issue!


Finding that Datazen is as finicky as a spoiled toddler and I’m just getting started. There’s a lot of potential there but Microsoft, you have A LOT of work to do!


12 thoughts on “Datazen – Map Not Working? May Never Guess Why

  1. This was a helpful to know about the states. I am facing similar problem with countries and I know, I have country names spelled correctly. It will be great to know if you can point me in correct direction.

    1. You may check one of the example reports they have provided in the home gallery. Then go to the data view to compare how they have their data displayed. You may also check for things like trailing spaces in your data (perhaps LTRIM/RTRIM). It’s very finicky. Good luck! Hope that helps.

  2. I’m having similar problems with location names in New Zealand. I think the data is clean and correct. The only location name that was recognised was Wellington (the capital of New Zealand). None of the other places were recognised.

    Is there a way to use Lat and Long data?

  3. Thanks for your post, you’re right about it being difficult to find detailed info on Datazen.
    I have a similar problem where Datazen is not recognising location names in New Zealand.
    I am pretty sure my data is clean and accurate.
    The only location it recognises is Wellington (capital city of New Zealand)

    Is there any way to use Lat Long coordinates?
    Any suggestions welcome.

    1. I don’t believe there is any way to do lat/long. I would first compare the MapKey in the sample table of data (SimulatedGeographyTable) for New Zealand with what your data contains. Perhaps something like leading/trailing spaces is throwing it off that you can resolve in your query. I found that you pretty much have to have it exactly like it is in the sample tables to get it to work properly. Best of luck getting it working! Let us know if you get it working and what you find.

    2. According to the sample data, I’m also in NZ, it is expecting provinces e.g. Canterbury, Hawke’s Bay Nelson-Marlborough. Spelt out in such manner.

      This doesn’t work with the dataset we have, in NZ we don’t record provinces like states in USA. So, they’ll need to be additional processing to actually shape the data to make it work.

      1. mloke, did you find a solution to your problem?
        If not, I think I can help. I contacted Microsoft and they put me on to a very helpful and knowledgeable person who explained the process required to do a customised map and before I could even follow through on that he then sent me the .shp and .dbf files for what I needed. You can then use OpenOffice’s Excel equivalent to modify the .dbf file to suit your dataset.
        If you would like further clarification on this, please let me know.

  4. When I export my Map on DataZen, they shows like a ‘compact white line’
    Do you know why? I used QGIS 2.12 for creating my map.

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Hmm no sorry I haven’t run into that issue. You may be able to use this link here to put in a support case though. If you get it worked out, post back resolution if you don’t mind. I’m curious.

      1. The same issue also here! The thing is that it works fine on my vmware but fails miserable on Prod environment.

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