The Business Analyst 2013 Data Update has just been released and one of the great features is the ability to access multiple data vintages on the same machine without the need to re-install. For example, you can install the 2013 data and retain last year’s 2012 data; using the datasets side-by-side. You do this by toggling the dataset vintage in the Preferences.
As a quick walk-through we give an example showing the 2013 Data install with the option to retain or uninstall previous datasets. The one consideration is disk space on your machine, as each dataset is around 30-40 GB. So the available space can fill up quick.
Once you are in the software, toggling between vintages is simple. From the Business Analyst Preference’s Dataset tab, select the desired year under Current Dataset. All components (demographics, businesses, geocoder, streets, etc.) are then switched to the desired year. Restarting ArcMap is required to enable the new settings.
An advantage of this is working with historical data. For example, you can run comparisons on demographic data changes by year, rerun drive times on the latest streets database or use 2012 businesses and shopping centers in conjunction with 2013 versions. The analysis outputs are all contained in Business Analyst Projects. So whether you are using 2011, 2012 or 2013 data, your work is saved in the same location.
The Business Analyst Team