Tag: Business Analyst Desktop

Tips & Tricks – Exporting and Importing Business Analyst Projects

by Kyle Watson

Hi there,

Today I wanted chat a bit about Projects in Business Analyst Desktop and how to export and import them.  First off, Projects are a way to automatically save and organize all the work you create in Business Analyst.  Everything from Stores to Customers to Trade Areas are saved to Projects in a standard directory structure.  The great thing about this is, we make it easy to backup and share them through our Export and Import functions.  You can then send a zipped Project to a colleague so they can see your work – and add to it.  Or you can just backup your Projects to an archive for safe keeping.

So let’s walk through a typical scenario:  You are working on a demo for a potential client.  You are setting up all the work, but need to get it to the Sales folks doing the presentation.  You have Business Analyst Desktop, they have Business Analyst Desktop…so just export your Project and email it to them.

To Export a Project, open the Project Explorer (icon is on the Business Analyst toolbar) and right-click the Active Project.  Select Export/Backup Project.

A dialog appears showing you all the contents of the Project.  You can check off any files you don’t intend to send (for ex:  you may have some temp files that aren’t applicable to a demo).  The Export process creates a zip file for you.


When you are ready to import the Project, just open the Project Explorer window again and right-click the Active Project.  Select Import Project. The dialog here is full of “smart” options in case you already have a Project with the same name.  You can override it, rename it, or merge any new files into it.  That’s pretty cool!

So once you’ve successfully imported the Project, it is automatically added to your My Output Data directory.  The contents and settings will be exactly the same as the machine it came from.

Another Tip:  You don’t HAVE to use the Import utility.  In Windows Explorer you can add a Project to Business Analyst by manually copying the main Project folder to your My Output DataProjects folder.  Open ArcMap and the Project will be in there.  You can also do this with individual files like Trade Areas and Reports, etc.  Just copy them into their corresponding folders from Project to Project.


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New Icons – Business Analyst 10 to get Face Lift

  by Kyle Watson

Hi there,

In ArcGIS 10 you will see a big change in the appearance throughout the product.  New, modern icons are plugged in to refresh the existing versions.

For example, here’s how some standard toolbars look like in 9.3.1 vs. 10…


We are also taking on this task in Business Analyst 10 Desktop.  Every single tool now has a distinct icon, this will allow you to open the tools directly…no need to find a tool buried in a wizard (you can think of it like using apps on any smart phone).

Here’s a live look into the Esri Graphics Lab as they are creating each individual symbol…

And here’s some finished icons in the new Favorites section…

Check back in for more Business Analyst 10 Desktop happenings…


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Business Analyst workflow videos

by Jeff Hincy

The Business Analyst suite of products offer a vast variety of tools and reports that allow you dig deep into your current business model and better understand the potential of your business.  Since Business Analyst is designed to appeal to large audience of clients sometimes the sheer number of tools and how they interconnect can be intimidating to some users.  In order to help you better understand what our products can do for you we are going to be producing a series of videos targeting specific workflows.  These workflows are just examples of some standard approaches that have been utilized with our products.

The data and names in the videos are all fictional and do not represent any real life businesses.  Each of these workflows can be easily modified to fit your needs.

The first video is called Determine My Store(s) Trade Area.   This video examines a single approach on how to analyze a stores potential by examining various trade areas.  This analysis shows how with only store location data an analyst can quickly and easily determine the viability of a store.   

The second video is called Determine the Lifestyles of My Customer.  This video shows how to use Business Analyst to learn more about customers even when a customer list is not available. See how this fictitious hardware store learns what items to promote and how to promote them.

You can access these videos from the ArcGIS Resource Center and be sure to check back as we intend on adding new videos on topics such as Determine my Best and Worst Performing Store and Determine Market Penetration.  These workflows are designed to be used with the current version of Business Analyst desktop and we will be updating them later this year when the newest version of Business Analyst is released.

Enjoy and I hope they become a valuable resource for you.


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Service Pack Available for Address Coder 9.3.1 & Segmentation Module 9.3.1

 by Lucy Guerra

Service Pack 1 for Address Coder 9.3.1 has just released. This service pack is recommended for Address Coder 9.3.1 users and Segmentation Module 9.3.1 users.

Click the links below to go to the Esri Support Site to see more info and download the service pack.

Address Coder 9.3.1 (stand-alone) users, click here

Segmentation Module 9.3.1 users, click here

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Are there more tattoo shops than Starbucks in LA?

by Kyle Watson

Someone made this bold declaration last week on our way to get some coffee “I heard there are more tattoo shops than Starbucks here.”  Yeah right, pal.

…the answer is no way, not even close!  There are actually 346 tattoo parlors to 874 Starbucks locations.   

When I heard that I knew this was a job for ESRI Business Analyst desktop.  Here I’ll show you how you can use Business Analyst to analyze your nearby competitors AND how we are improving the experience in Business Analyst 10.  ***yes ArcGIS 9.4 is now called 10, and Business Analyst will follow up with a version 10.

First off let’s take a look at the LA area brewing in Starbucks and tattoo shops.  I established my market by hastily sketching all around the greater Los Angeles area using the Draw Area trade area feature.  As you can see its jagged and doesn’t follow any county or city borders – but hey that’s the idea of “custom.”  I then used the Add Business Listings feature to import my business locations.  This feature is optimized to query the more than 11 million business points bundled with Business Analyst.

Here’s a look at how you would accomplish this in Business Analyst 9.3.1.  You can select businesses by name or industry classifications and define the area (be it a ZIP Code, state, or any boundary – such as 3 miles around all your franchises).


But there were problems with this, namely being able to “see what you’re gonna get” BEFORE you clicked finish to add the permanent results to the map.  For example if you searched for “Target” you might get back “Target Stores” and “Target Pharmacy” and “Super Target” and “Target Practice.”  There was no opportunity to refine the search capabilities.

Well now there will be.

In Business Analyst 10 we are building the capability to search by keywords and quickly see all the possibilities in list view.  From there you can filter and remove the ones you don’t want.  It’s kind of like our Bing Business Search.  For example:  Zoom to Southern California and type “tattoo shops.”  All related tattoo businesses appear in a list view, you can then refine your search.  Don’t want those Huntington Beach tat shops?  Check ‘em off.  Prefer larger shops of more that 5 employees?  Click that filter.  Perfect!  That just how I want it – now let’s export to geodatabase.

So you ask, can I still use the standard old school Add Business Listings and well, why would I even want to?  The answer is yes.  The “Classic View” is still available and will be used for more defined, intricate searches.  It also allows you to use save previous search settings for quick query loading.  So there’s still real value there.

We hope you’ll dig the new business search capabilities coming your way.



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Business Analyst 10 – What's coming…

  by Kyle Watson

In recent weeks you may have seen that the next version of ESRI’s core desktop software “ArcGIS 9.4″ is now beefed up to “ArcGIS 10.”  There are many significant additions and efficiencies in “10″ and I’d like to share we also plan a Business Analyst 10 release.

Here is a quick look at some of the new features we plan on including in BA10:

  • Workflow based toolbars:  Business Analyst and Territory Design toolbars will get facelifts, making them less “tools” based and more focused on solving business problems from start to finish.
  • Business Analyst Window:  This will be a dockable location for all of the common Business Analyst features.  You’ll be able to easily add favorite commands (almost like adding iPhone apps).
  • Revised custom data creation wizard:  We’re making it easier to bring in your own custom data and make BDS layers.
  • Color-Coded Maps:  A new way to easily access data and create thematic maps.
  • Enhanced business search:  A new way to search and filter for competitors to export exactly what you want.
  • Enhanced reports:  New reports and better styled ones too.  Plus we’re adding a way to hit data hosted as a service and include them in reports…so you don’t have to wait for new datasets shipping to you on DVDs.

So check back in regularly for further details on ESRI Business Analyst 10.


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Add map services to Business Analyst desktop – with ease

by Kyle Watson

Hey there,

Did you know that you can quickly and easily add online basemap services to ESRI Business Analyst desktop?  Well, you can do this in ArcGIS by itself, but we provide an extra little feature to make it that much easier. 

You can use the Maps menu on the Business Analyst toolbar to add more map services (or any old layer file) to quickly toggle them on or off.  It’s great for demos and creating better maps.  Yes – we bundle a boatload of vector basemap data with the product – but we’ve seen that many of our users love the flexibility of adding any layer they want for display – instantly.

So let’s walk through how you can do this…

(1) Use the Maps menu to select “More from ArcGIS Online…”  This will kick you out to the “AGOL” webpage.  We add the existing three map services for you by default (imagery, shaded relief, street map).

(2) Select your map layer for download (so you are saving a layer locally that hits a server for streaming).  Did you know you can download the Bing layers?  They are pretty slick.  Search here for all kinds of layers and services.


(3) Move the downloaded map layer to your My Output DataArcGIS Online Maps directory.  This special folder allows Business Analyst to read the layers from the toolbar.


(4) Your new map services and layers are added to the Maps menu for toggling on and off (it can be any old layer that you want to access quickly – for example your franchise locations).


The ArcGIS Online map services are cached locally to make panning and zooming faster.  The cache is built here: C:Documents and Settings<billybob.j.user>Local SettingsTempesrimapcache

Check out ArcGIS Online’s own blog.  Here’s a great entry by Jim Mason about how to create a seamless maps with multiple map services – which I didn’t even know you could do until I read this.

Happy downloading!


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Business Analyst Desktop 9.3.1 Service Pack 1 Released

 by Jeff Hincy

In our continual effort to improve our clients’ experience with Business Analyst, last Friday we released the first service pack for Business Analyst Desktop 9.3.1 with 2009 data.  This service pack contains fixes for everyone from client driven fixes, to a series of report fixes, and even an MSP style install.

Included in the service were the following improvements:

  • MSP Style install allowing users to download an MSP from our Support Center or run it directly from the Update Utility in Business Analyst
  • Approximately 179 bug fixes
  • 19 client driven driven fixes
  • Includes 2 previous hot fixes
  • 53 report based fixes
  • Bugs fixed for three international distributors with a follow up international specific service pack for localization coming soon.

If its been awhile since you have used our built in update utility let me refresh your memory.  Close down all ArcGIS desktop applications and from the Start Menu select All Programs -> ArcGIS -> Business Analyst -> Check for Business Analyst Updates.

This will launch the Business Analyst Update utility and simply click the Check button.

The Business Analyst Update utility will check to see if you have latest service pack installed.  If it detects that you do not have the latest service pack it will alert you that an update is available for download.  Then just click the Download button and the service pack will be downloaded and it will automatically start the installation process for the service pack.  Just follow the on screen instructions to complete the installation.

To verify that this service pack has been installed launch Business Analyst and from the Business Analyst menu select Preferences and then select the General tab and the current version of Business Analyst will be displayed at the bottom of this dialog.  It will read Build#

You can visit our support site for a complete list of all the fixes.  Additionally, if you are having troubles installing the service pack from the Business Analyst Update utility you can download the MSP directly from our support site to run the service pack locally.

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Hey! I can see my house from here

  by Jeff Hincy

Have you ever wondered how film makers get all that fancy imagery in their movies?  You would assume it costs thousands of dollars and they have to jump through hoops to get it.  Well you too can be a multi-million dollar film maker with the imagery that comes standard with Business Analyst Desktop.

Ok, well maybe that is not entirely true, but you can access some of the latest satellite and aerial imagery with the click of a few buttons.  The ImageConnect toolbar in Business Analyst Desktop is a gateway to some of the best imagery in the business provided by DigitalGlobe. 

Recently we have added a new dataset of imagery to Business Analyst through the ImageConnect toolbar.  It provides our clients with the most up to date imagery that DigitalGlobe has to offer.  It ranges from complete aerial coverage of the United States at up to 1 meter resolution to .3 meter satellite imagery taken from the QuickBird satellite that contains “deep strip coverage of urban, rural and coastal areas.”  You can investigate a new market using imagery as recent as last quarter.

For those of you who have not explored this incredible resource yet, the ImageConnect toolbar is included with Business Analyst Desktop.  It allows you to connect directly to the DigitalGlobe image server and download high resolution satellite and aerial imagery directly into your map and save them for later analysis and viewing.  As long as you have internet access you have unlimited access to these images.

The imagery accessed from the ImageConnect toolbar contains not only the most current imagery but historical imagery that can be used to see things such as construction trends in a market.  It is also important to note that before downloading your image you should examine the available imagery in your market to decide which attribute is the most important for your analysis.  Sometimes vintage is the most important attribute but other times resolution can as or more important.  By default the ImageConnect toolbar will select an image based on a combination of attributes such as resolution, data source, and vintage.  To view a list of available imagery simply click the ImageConnect button and then select ImageConnect Data Library.  From this dialog you will a list of the available imagery at your current map scale and you can select the appropriate image to download for your analysis.

You might be curious how to access this wonderful new data update.  Let me show you how to access it.

Step 1: Launch Business Analyst. 

Step 2: From the Main Menu you will see an ImageConnect menu option. Click the ImageConnect button and select ImageConnect Properties.

Step 3: From the Data Layers drop-down menu select Country Coverage and hit OK.

That’s it you are done.  You will have to do this for each computer that Business Analyst is installed on and these preferences will be saved so you won’t have to go back and do this again.


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Business Analyst Desktop 9.4 is Well Underway – and We Need Your Input!!!

by James Killick

You might be interested to hear that we’re well underway with planning and development for the 9.4 version of Business Analyst Desktop. We’re very excited about the new features we’re adding to the product.

Just about everything we’re putting into the next release is based on feedback we’ve gained from you via one-on-one interviews, site visits, customer surveys and by talking to you at trade shows.

However — it doesn’t stop there…

We will be conducting a number of webinars to get your feedback on the new features as we fine tune them for release. If you’d like a chance to influence the direction we’re taking and take part in the webinars please let us know.

Send an email to [businessanalyst at esri dot com] with your name, your customer number and contact details (company name, phone, email) as well as the product version you are using.

Talk to you soon,


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