Tag: Business Analyst Desktop

Business Analyst 10…Now Enhanced with Maplex!

by David Palomino

Business Analyst 10 provides two default MXDs as a gateway into the application: Business Analyst.mxd and Business Analyst Web.mxd. However, we have expanded on Business Analyst.mxd to create a third MXD, Business Analyst Maplex.mxd. This is a cartographically enhanced MXD available for download here. Continue reading

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Product Documentation for Business Analyst 10

 By Lucy Guerra

You may have noticed that a Documentation directory is no longer installed with Business Analyst Desktop at the 10 release. The information that was formerly stored in that directory is now available on the Resource Center. You can easily access this information by going to http://resources.arcgis.com/ba.

Click on Business Analyst Desktop and on the left side of the page you will see links to lots of useful information about the product.


Click on Help to view an up-to-date version of the help system that was shipped with the product.  New information will be added and existing topics updated as it becomes necessary. 

Click on Documentation to see Data Dictionaries, Tutorials, What’s New, and other resources.

Click on Whitepapers to view data methodology and a variable list. Some items in this section are “locked” meaning that you’ll need to use your Esri Global Account to sign in and view.



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Updating 9.3.1 MXDs to 10 with the UpdateMXDs Tool

by David Palomino

The UpdateMXDs tool updates Business Analyst 9.3 and 9.3.1 MXDs to Business Analyst 10 (it replaces the background layers). When updating a Business Analyst 9.3 or 9.3.1 map document (MXD), it is recommended that you enable Automatically update map projection on the Misc tab of the Business Analyst Preferences dialog box. (For more in-depth information, read this article.)

There are three ways to update your MXD from 9.3.1 to 10: from ArcCatalog, ArcMap, and ArcMap through the Catalog window.

From ArcCatalog
1.  Start ArcCatalog.
2.  Add the UpdateMXDs toolbox (UpdateMXDs.tbx).
3.  Right-click ArcToolbox and choose Add Toolbox.

4.  Navigate to C:Program FilesArcGISDesktop10.0Business AnalystDatasetsUpdateMXDsUpdateMXDs.tbx and add the toolbox.

5.  Open the tool and navigate to the folder that contains your 9.3.1 saved MXD(s).

6.  Click OK.

When you navigate to where your MXD(s) are located, you’ll notice that there is a backup MXD for each.

7.  Open the nonbackup MXD.

Due to Business Analyst 9.3.1 being run on geographic projection (projection on the fly) and 10 being run on Web Mercator, your zoom level will look different.

Note: Business Analyst 10 is in Web Mercator and is thus in line with industry standards as well as being consistent with ArcGIS Online map services. You can now more easily load cached background map services and layers seamlessly. 

8.  Start ArcMap and set the projection to Automatically update map projection.


9.  You may still need to zoom in or out of your given geographic area. In this case, the map was zoomed in to the drive Ttme trade area.

From ArcMap

1.  Start ArcMap and set the projection to Automatically update map projection.

2.  Open the UpdateMXDs tool dialog box and navigate to the folder that contains your MXD(s).

3.  From ArcMap, navigate to your MXD and open it. Just as in the example in From ArcCatalog, you may need to zoom in or out to see your original extent.

From ArcMap through the Catalog Window

A third way of doing this is by simply accessing the Catalog window through ArcMap and following the steps outlined in the From ArcCatalog section above.

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New report styles for Business Analyst 10

by Jeff Hincy

With the upcoming release of Business Analyst 10, I thought I would give you a sneak peak at the new report styles.  We are revamping some of the existing templates, removing some of the redundant templates, and adding new ones. Here is what the new Demographic and Income report will look like (note: this is currently available on BAO with 2010 data).

This is page 1 and you can see the new header and footer styles are completely customizable and you can duplicate the style for your custom templates.

Here is page 2 with the new charts and graphs style.

Now you may be asking which ones will be removed and why. After installing Business Analyst Desktop, you will immediately notice that some reports are no longer available. These were removed to reduce redundant data and replaced with new, better designed reports that more efficiently cover all the data.  

Here is a list of the reports that will no longer be shipped with the product.

  • Age
  • Comprehensive
  • Comprehensive Trend
  • General
  • Household Summary
  • Multi-Area Report
  • Population
  • Race Report


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Business Analyst Desktop 10 – Another Sneak Peek…

 By Lucy Guerra

Continuing a post from Kyle a while back… here’s another sneak peek at what’s coming in Business Analyst 10:

1) That same new feature in Business Analyst Online, Smart Map Search, is going to be available in the Desktop product too! Smart Map Search helps you zero in on the right area in seconds.


2) Business Analyst Premium – In the Business Analyst 10 release, we’re taking customer analysis to the next level. We are introducing a premium version of Business Analyst chock full of data (over 700 Consumer Spending variables and over 2,000 Market Potential variables) and tools to help you learn more about your customers using Tapestry segmentation data. Easy-to-understand, easy-to-share reports, charts, and maps help you see who your customers are, what they like to do, where they live, and how to get more of them.

3) Flash Drive Installation – No more multiple DVD swapping during installation! Business Analyst 10 will arrive on a 32GB USB flash drive.

Stay tuned for another sneak peek…


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Got ArcGIS Desktop 10? Business Analyst users, read here for important information…

With the release of ArcGIS 10, we want to remind you that Business Analyst 9.3.1 will not operate on ArcGIS 10. We recommend that you do not install ArcGIS 10 until you receive Business Analyst 10.

  • Business Analyst Desktop 10 will be shipping in August.
  • Business Analyst Server 10 is scheduled to ship in September.

Check back here at the Business Analyst Products blog for up-to-the-minute news!

The Business Analyst Team

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Install Business Analyst Desktop Silently

by Kyle Watson

If you’ve installed Business Analyst 931 Desktop, you know that it is delivered on 3 DVDs + the ArcGIS DVD.  Installing it once is not such a big deal, but what if your company has 40 or so machines to install?  As in a several department-wide enterprise setup that’s a bit cumbersome.  To remedy this, we’ve tested and deployed the installation of Business Analyst Desktop across a network in a silent fashion.  That is, with a bit of command line setup (Wait!  It’s OK…we have examples with like screenshots and stuff) you can automatically deploy Business Analyst to multiple machines – hands off.  Overnight if you wish.

There are plenty of things to consider, but we’ve got them covered.  You can check out this how-to whitepaper on our Resource Center and start installing with greater ease.  Also – yes, you’ll be able to install Business Analyst 10 silently too.

Here’s a high-tech schematic of what happens (they make us add at least one picture :) )…


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2010 Data for Business Analyst Desktop!

 By Lucy Guerra

Some great news to share with Business Analyst 9.3.1 users… you can get a jump start on your 2010 analysis and start running the 2010 Demographic & Income report for your trade areas today! It’s all possible with the ESRI Business Analyst Online Reports Add-In

The Business Analyst Online Add-In is a bridge from Business Analyst Desktop to reports and data from Business Analyst Online. All you have to do is:

1) Download the Add-In  >>>  2) Install it  >>>  3) Activate your subscription

And it’s free for Business Analyst Desktop users current on maintenance! 

Then you can run a 2010 Demographic & Income Profile report for any of your trade areas. You can also attach that data back to your trade area layer so that you can create maps and use the data in your other analysis workflows.

In addition, access to the Business Analyst Online web application is included with a subscription to the Business Analyst Online Add-In so you can search for businesses, thematically map areas, create trade areas, compare sites, create customized reports, and more.

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"Your Mission: Make Business Analyst Look Better and Perform Faster"

by David Palomino

This article is the second in a series “Cartographic Design and Optimization Methods for Business Analyst”. Click HERE to read the first article.

The Mission
It was a cozy winter evening in 2008. Mellow conversations in French, German, Spanish, and Italian could be heard in the background, and the chalet fireplace matched the warmth I was already feeling – that content feeling you get after two full weeks of skiing your heart out in the French Alps – when a mysterious “stranger” approached with an audio message from the top. The message was simple and direct: “You’re mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make the Business Analyst MXD look better and perform faster.” Okay, so perhaps it wasn’t that dramatic and maybe I fudged the details of this otherwise true story a little. Nevertheless, this was an exciting and challenging endeavor set before me, and I accepted with alacrity.

BA 9.2. and 9.3
The Business Analyst Desktop product for 9.2 and 9.3 were very good. But the product needed a face-lift so to speak and needed to get in shape. Some of the cartographic designs were out of date, and draw speeds were at times pretty slow.

Mission “Business Analyst 9.3.1” (Code name BA931)
Hence, the new assignment. Upon diving into this endeavor, I was quickly introduced to Cartographers Tim Daley and Corey Lamar in Redlands, and these two were a great resource and helped with cartographic design ideas and suggestions. (Anyone with a cartographic background reading this knows that projects are rarely if ever a one-person thing.) Soon, the design was looking good, but what to do about the draw speed? Corey and Tim suggested simplifying queries for labeling (more on that shortly) among other things. To drill down more, I needed to test and diagnose refresh draw-speeds, find out where the problem layers were, and analyze this for multiple scales and datasets. In addition, this needed to be done comparing 9.3 with the emerging 9.3.1 product. How to do this? Well, there is the old “stopwatch” method, where you sit at a computer and record each draw time. But this is cumbersome and time-consuming, and is not the level of quantitative analysis we needed.

Fortunately, a tool that addresses exactly this was already created! Andrew Sakowicz from the Enterprise Implementation Services Team created the “MXDPerfStat” tool. (This is an ArcScript tool which can be downloaded for free HERE.)

One of the really cool things about this tool is that you can identify specific problems with layers and labeling, and at which scales these problems occur. It even gives general recommendations for editing layers and labels for better results.

Figure 1: Example of a problem layer, along with general editing recommendations.

Initial edits were made, but there were still problems. One issue was simple labeling of features were not feasible because of the way certain datasets were built.

Figure 2: Example of street dataset. All components of the street names are in separate fields. Bad!

For example, in order to properly label streets (e.g. “West 1st Street” as opposed to just “1st”), complex queries were required because several parts of the street names were in different fields. With this scenario, the label query would have to read à [Dir]&” “&[Street Name]&” “&[Type]&” “&[Dir2]. As you can imagine, labeling hundreds of thousands of streets this way for each refresh bogged down processing and slowed the redraw speed considerably. Either that, or you would be stuck with incomplete street names, as was the case in Business Analyst 9.2 and 9.3.

Therefore, these fields had to be combined into one field. The easiest way to do this was to convert the existing dataset, which was in SDC format, into a File Geodatabase (FGDB). (This conversion not only aided in consolidating the pertinent fields, but converting to FGDB also decreased the size of the datasets themselves.)

Figure 3: Combining all the street name components into one field. Good!

In addition, street layers shouldn’t be labeled all at once, but must be scale dependent by type of street. For example, interstates can be drawn at most scales, but alleys and small roads (which are more numerous) should only be drawn at larger (zoomed in) scales. An example of a query that targets larger streets might look like this à “FCC” LIKE ‘B1%’ OR “FCC” LIKE ‘B2%’. Ugh, more complex queries!!! Therefore, layers like streets were simplified down to their parts by “street type” for easier scale-dependent display. Also, the 9.2 and 9.3 versions were labeling non-streets (alleys, driveways, etc.) further slowing speed. Combining the component name fields and excluding the non-street names from the street name field during the FGDB conversion noticeably sped up the refresh draw times.

Finally, the Table of Contents folder structure was simplified for better organization and intuitive ease of use.

These are just a few of the optimization methods that were employed for the 9.3.1 product release, but the basic results were faster draw-times, a better look, and a more organized folder structure.

The Speed – Quantitative Results
The results of the draw-time speeds showed an overall 77% increase in draw speed!

The Look – Qualitative Results
Business Analyst 9.3.1 was created with a more modern design and cartographically better look. Here are a few “Before and After” screenshots. (For a more complete slideshow of before and after shots, please click HERE.)

Overall, Including the Table of Contents Design:

The mission for 9.3.1. is accomplished. These edits and changes had the input from almost everyone on the Business Analyst team, and we are working ever more on the future Business Analyst Products to make them even faster, easier, and better looking than before. However, we rely not only on the input from within ESRI, but we rely especially on input from users like you. We look forward to hearing from you and serving you to make our products easier, faster, and better. We really appreciate you and your input.

Please stay tuned for the next in this series “Cartographic Design and Optimization Methods for Business Analyst” as we look into map projections, how they work, and how best to work with them.

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Business Analyst 9.3.1 Desktop Service Pack 2 – FAQ

by Kyle Watson

We are pleased to announce a new service pack for Business Analyst 9.3.1 Desktop . This service pack is for download only from our Resource Center. The service pack is primarily focused on Territory Design improvements.

Here’s a rundown on some frequently asked questions…

Q:  What is this service pack called?
A:  Business Analyst 9.3.1 Desktop Service Pack 2 or BA931SP2.

Q:  What is the theme of BA931SP2?
A:  Performance and accuracy improvements in Territory Design for large or nationwide datasets.

Q:  Why is the performance so much better?
A:  Balancing algorithms are refined and smarter. Indexes (.tidx) are supplied to make creating territories, using Business Analyst Data, faster.

Q:  Will this be available via the automatic “Check for BA Updates?”
A:  No. BA931SP2 will only be available from the Resource Center as a downloadable MSP. The setup is run locally, just like any other ArcGIS SP. BA931SP1 will remain the active/current automatic download.

Q:  Is this service pack comprehensive?  Can I install BA931SP2 instead of BA931SP1 and see all the fixes of both?
A:  No. BA931SP2 contains no fixes from BA931SP1. It can be referred to as “in addition to” BA931SP1. It is recommended to install BA931SP1 then BA931SP2.

Q:  Are there plans for a BA931SP3?
A:  No. The next major desktop release planned is Business Analyst 10 with a tentative target of an August time frame.

Happy downloading…

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