Tag: Business Analyst Desktop

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.


Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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,


Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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.


Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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.


Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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! 


Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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
Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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.


Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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!



Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

Posted in Location Analytics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment