Tag: Business Analyst Desktop

Business Analyst – now with Address Inspector, mmm

by Kyle Watson

Hello again, Kyle here.  Wanted to share a thought or two about some cool ArcGIS Business Analyst desktop tools.

One is the Address Inspector.  We embedded this core ArcGIS geocoding technology as part of our Site Prospecting menu.  The idea is you can click and drag along the map, navigating streets, and a menu appears dynamically showing you street addresses on the fly.  This comes in handy when you know the area you want to be in, you know the street, but don’t know the exact address (or maybe it just doesn’t exist yet because you are the retail developer working on the property!).  Then you can right-click the location you are looking for to open the Site Prospecting options and instantly retrieve demographic information.

The other is the Drawn Area tool, which is really just a quick and easy way to draw a custom polygon.  This comes in handy when you’re examining an area, but it’s not a standard Block Group, 5-mile ring, collection of ZIP Codes, or County…it’s somewhere in between.  Maybe it’s an odd-shaped brownfield or newly acquired piece of real estate.  So you can now easily sketch these areas and set them up for reports and analysis in Business Analyst…without having to setup feature classes, start ArcGIS editing sessions, work through ArcCatalog, etc. etc. etc.

You can also watch a bad video of me stumbling my way trying to explain these gadgets.  I assure you my hair is longer now and I’m better looking in person.


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Transitioning 2009 Business Analyst MXDs

 by Jeff Hincy

With clients starting to receive their shipments of Esri Business Analyst with 2009 data I wanted to share some tips on how to transition any old MXDs built on previous versions of Business Analyst.  Some users like to save a lot of different MXDs, as another way to organize their work or other good reasons.

Each year our team makes strides to improve the performance and usability of Business Analyst. Based on critical customer feedback and some changes made by the data providers, we completely overhauled the default Business Analyst MXD to provide an enhanced cartographic look and feel of our maps.  While we were at it, we thought we would increase performance as well.

So, if you’re someone with a few (or a few dozen) ‘old’ MXDs lying around which could benefit from some fresh cartography and faster performance, read on.  Note: a less-bloggy version of this is posted as a Knowledge Base article on our Support Site.

All you will need to do is remove the group layer associated with older versions of Business Analyst and add in the new group layer we have posted on our support site. I will detail the steps below.

If you have installed the new version of Business Analyst, the first thing you will notice when launching an older MXD is that many of the underlying basemap layers have red exclamation points ! next to them.

These red exclamation points indicate that the file locations where these layers were stored in previous versions on Business Analyst have been either removed or moved as part of our efforts to update and upgrade the MXD. Although it is possible to repair some of these data sources it is much quicker to simply remove the older Business Analyst group layer and replace it with our new one.

Here are the steps to update your map documents.

Make backups: Back up your MXDs before modifying them. Save any custom labeling or symbology associated with Business Analyst data layers to apply them to the new group layer if needed.

Step 1: Open up an ‘old’ MXD.

Step 2: Right mouse click on the appropriate Business Analyst group layer (typically either the Business Analyst Detailed Map  or the Business Analyst Map group layer) and select Remove

Step 3: Download our updated 2009 Business Analyst group layer from our support site and save the group layer to the file directory recommended in the article.

Step 4: Go to File-Add Data or click the Add Data icon to navigate to the new group layer you just downloaded and add it to the map and you are done.

The updated map document will look something like this (excluding your specific layer files).

Note: We recommend that you do not mix data vintages (ie. 2008 and 2009) in your Business Analyst MXD as this may affect the tools dependant on these data layers.

Hopefully these tips will make transitioning older map documents much simpler.


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Esri Business Analyst at the 2009 Esri User Conference

by James Killick

I just wanted to say a big “Thank You!” to everyone who dropped by to see us at the recent ESRI User Conference in San Diego!  This year we had more technical workshops, more demos (& more meetings) than ever.We were obviously very excited to talk about the all our new products, including the new ESRI Business Analyst Online and the 9.3.1 release of ESRI Business Analyst Desktop.


Speaking of which – Business Analyst Desktop 9.3.1 is shipping – so start to look out for the boxes arriving on your doorstep sometime next week or early the following week.The new 2009 ESRI Data update that’s included with the product should be reason enough to look at upgrading as it captures the unprecedented economic changes that happened in 2008 and continue in 2009.

We’re also hard at work on updates for ESRI Business Analyst Server 9.3.1 and releasing some significant new features in Business Analyst Online. Some of you may have been lucky enough to get a sneak peek at the User Conference.   In addition we’re putting the finishing touches on the new API for Business Analyst Online and hope to have it generally available in the next few weeks.

The 9.3.1 update to our Address Coder product is also shipping. For those of you that don’t know, ESRI Address Coder is a super useful and high performance tool for enriching your customer lists with demographic data and Tapestry segmentation, giving you whole new ways to slice and dice your data in your favorite BI software.

If you didn’t get the a chance to catch up with us at the show, or ask that question you meant to ask, just let us know! 


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Now Shipping!! Esri Business Analyst Desktop 9.3.1

by James Killick

For those of you hankering for the latest and greatest version of our desktop product … Esri Business Analyst desktop 9.3.1 is now shipping! :-)

If you’re waiting on the Segmentation Module, that’s not far behind: we should be going gold today, which means the Segmentation Module should be shipping in about two weeks…

This new release of the product provides significant performance and productivity improvements as well as access to the updated Esri demographic and business data for 2009/14.

Highlights of this new release include:

  • ESRI Data for 2009/14: enables accurate analysis based on the recent economic downturn. Relative to prior data updates the 2009 data update is of particular value as it captures the unprecedented economic change.
  • Attractive (& Fast) New Map Designs for even more professional presentations & reports. The new MXD for Business Analyst draws maps up to 4X faster than Business Analyst Desktop 9.3. This should provide a significant productivity improvement.
  • Microsoft “Bing” Local Search embedded in Business Analyst toolbar: for quick and easy search of local businesses and points of interest. This complements the infoUSA data by allowing searches for the same businesses you find on Bing maps, enabling searches for, say, “Pizza” or “Pizza in Chicago” or “Best Buy” and adding the results as a layer to your map.
  • Publish Custom Reports Templates to Business Analyst Server: enabling anyone in the organization to run reports that are designed specifically for their business.
  • Significant Performance Improvements for many critical analysis functions: 10% to 50% improvement in performance is typical.
  • Numerous User Interface Improvements to increase ease of use and productivity, including:
    • Complete overhaul of the wizards and workflows in Business Analyst to make them more intuitive
    • New, easy way to associate company logos with business point layers
    • One click access to ArcGIS Online map collections from the Business Analyst toolbar
    • Improvements to the Custom Report editor to provide a user interface similar to Excel
    • Improvements to Map Reports: ability to change the print resolution of the maps & customize individual map reports for multiple locations
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Bing! in Esri Business Analyst

by Kyle Watson

Hi there,

Esri Business Analyst 9.3.1 is heading your way shortly.  Watch out for it.  Here’s a few advancements made that we think you’ll like.

  • Better maps!  Improved cartography, one MXD, simplified layers in the table of contents, faster drawing
  • Better access to better maps!  Add and bookmark ArcGIS Online layers and services to your map directly from the Business Analyst toolbar.
  • Microsoft Bing local search!  Instantly add POIs and business locations…check this older blog entry for more info.

The paparazzi was in my office last week…here’s what came of it, check out the video explaining all this stuff.


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Esri HQ vs. BA 9.3.1 Desktop Construction

by Kyle Watson

Hello there blogspehere.  I have news regarding Esri Business Analyst 9.3.1.  It’s finished!  It looks nice too, plus were are about 5 days ahead of schedule.  There was debate around here whether or not we’d complete it before the new Esri HQ building was done.  Looks like we win, as you can see below the new landscaping is still going in.  Impressive building though.

So anyway – The Business Analyst 9.3.1 DVDs are over at the warehouse.  They get officially burned and then I give them one final check.  After that they ship to you.  You should have them shortly after the User Conference.  Get ready to upgrade!



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Improved Wizards in ArcGIS Business Analyst 9.3.1

 by Garry Burgess

Time is ticking down to the delivery of the 9.3.1 release of ArcGIS Business Analyst.  Here is another nugget from the upcoming release that you should enjoy.  We have updated every dialog with new images that are reflective of the output that will be generated.  Imagine that – an image that actually looks like the output from each tool!  Each dialog also includes an updated set of tips and descriptions that will provide information about how to use each tool. 

Cheers – Garry

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ESRI Data – Did you know? Father’s Day Edition

Neck Tie by Catherine Spisszak

While on my normal last-minute rush to buy Father’s Day gifts last night, I realized I was again faced with predicament of buying presents for men that have everything and ask for nothing. The classic gift ideas include clothing, tools or sporting equipment; however, my father could probably circumnavigate the earth three times with all of his ties and I think he has the #1 Dad coffee mug in every color.

In the spirit of Father’s Day, let’s investigate consumer spending on the typical gifts for dad.

In South Padre Island, Texas, households will spend $321.72 on average on men’s apparel in 2009.

In Shaver Lake, California, the Spending Potential Index for shaving needs is 88 (ironically, 12% below the national average – an index of 100 represents the national average).

In Tool City, Texas the Spending Potential Index for power tools is 51 and 76 for hand tools – again, both below the national average.

Households in Fisher Island, FL will spend $27 on average Hunting and Fishing Equipment in 2009, 30% lower than the national average.

Finally, dads in Chevy Chase Village, Maryland can look forward to higher price presents. That area boasts the highest Spending Potential Index for both television purchases and photo equipment and supply purchases at 450 and 425 respectively.

To find out what other goods and services are represented in the Esri Consumer Spending database, please visit http://www.esri.com/data/esri_data/index.html and a special Happy Father’s Day wish to all the dads out there.

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ESRI Campus – Through the years

by Kyle Watson

Everybody loves aerial imagery.  It’s everywhere now.  The ease of panning and zooming around the globe was popularized by Google products, Yahoo! Maps and now ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Business Analyst Online.

This access to aerial imagery doesn’t solve a particular problem, that of image currentness (if that’s even a word) .  But not just ‘today’s satellite view’…sometimes you don’t want the current image – you want to see what the commercial property you are thinking of developing looked like ten years ago.  Was it a farm?  A brownfield?  A Superfund site?  A school?  A swamp

ArcGIS Business Analyst bundles a toolbar called ImageConnect from DigitalGlobe that gives you access to a massive online imagery archive.  So you can zoom to a site and instantly download aerial/satellite images from multiple years, multiple formats, multiple resolutions, and sources.  This is quite valuable for use in reports, maps, etc.  It helps you understand a site from a historical standpoint.

Circling back to this blog’s title ESRI Campus – Through the years, I zoomed to the ESRI Redlands Campus and downloaded multiple aerial images by vintage to demonstrate this concept in a fun way.  So without further blogginess…check out ESRI’s construction progress through the years…

My, my the expansion is pretty impressive.  And I get the full story with ArcGIS Business Analyst’s ImageConnect.

PS – You get unlimited usage of the premium imagery stack, not the pay-per-transaction model.


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Sync'd Service Packs

by Bob Hazelton and Kyle Watson

We are pleased to announce the ArcGIS Business Analyst desktop and server teams have jointly released service packs today.  Each are for their 9.3 versions and close out development activities on the 9.3 platform.  We are now focusing on 9.3.1 development.

The desktop service pack (service pack 2) includes performance improvements and maintenance fixes.  You can download it from the Support Center here.  You can also do this automatically…if you forgot how…read this.

The server service pack (service pack 1) includes performance improvements, fixes and new functionality.  You can download it from the Support Center here.

Here’s a quick recap of what’s new in the Business Analyst Server Service Pack 1:

    • Microsoft Excel 2007 support – xlsx files can be uploaded
    • New Report – the Points in Polygon report provides detailed information about the point features that are contained within any polygon layer
    • Navigation speed within every workflow template has been improved
    • Value calculation elapsed times at several geography levels have been reduced
    • Task dialog launch actions happen quicker
  • UPDATES IN SOAP/REST API – nine improvements
  • UPDATES IN REPORTS – six improvements
  • UPDATES IN WORKFLOW APPLICATION – twelve improvements

So download, install and get your computers up-to-date!

Bob & Kyle

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