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Slick data-visualizer launched for QuickBooks users

A free and very pretty "heat map" can show you where your customers are--and aren't.

Intuit is announcing on Monday a Flash-based Web service that companies can use to geographically visualize their customer data and business activity.

Customer Explorer is being unveiled at this week's Adobe Max conference in San Francisco. Customer Explorer, available at the Intuit Workplace, imports QuickBooks data and overlays it on a live map.

Users can view where their customers are clustering or which regions generate the most revenue. They can also generate time slices of the data, much like a moving weather map, to see how their business has been evolving. And they can overlay regional demographic information, such as median household income.

This free version of SpatialKey was created by Universal Mind.

This map is animated and shows customer density growth over time. Universal Mind

The app is more than eye candy. Any business owner trying to get a handle on where he or she is successful--and where the business' holes are--can learn something from the service.

The app is also an interesting hybrid service. While it uses QuickBooks users' data, which is stored on their computers, the visualizer melds that data with geographic and demographic information from Web servers to create maps that are displayed via Flash in a browser. It's an interesting and fairly seamless mashup of various public data sets with the user's own data.

On this map, the circled numbers represent clusters of customers, and the shading is demographic data: median household income. Universal Mind

Previous coverage: Intuit getting into the hosted app business.

Click here for more news on Adobe's Max conference.