Getting Started with the ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App

Jeff Oppong

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In today’s data-driven business environment, the ability to analyze and represent data visually is critical to making informed decisions. ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App is a comprehensive mapping and location analysis tool that enables businesses to gather and analyze demographic, economic, and consumer data to help them develop and grow their business.

Creating maps in ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App is a seamless process, and businesses can create informative and visually appealing maps in just a few clicks. Customized maps can be used to visually demonstrate trends or identify insights that might be difficult to see by just looking at raw data. These maps can also be shared with other members of the organization or external entities as a collaborative effort to improve decision-making.

What this ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App tutorial covers

For this tutorial, we created a map in ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App by creating a new project. This new project archive included all the datasets used in the tutorial. Although these datasets can generally present demographic, economic, and lifestyle data relevant to the business, we used data on senior population (65+ years %) and places in Boone county, Iowa, where there has been beer intake in homes within the last 30 days (%). This GIS tutorial also explores the map elements, such as layers, labels, and styles offered by the Business Analyst Web App.

A black and white flow map showing the inputs for using Esri's Business Analyst Web App.
Figure 1: summary of method used in adding attribute variables to a study area to create maps in Business Analyst Web App.

Creating study areas in ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App

The ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App can be used on a 21-day free trial after a sign-up with an active business E-mail. To sign up, list the Free 21-Day Trial of ArcGIS Business Analyst sign-up page. Please note: a business email account is required to sign up for the free trial period.

After the sign up process, login using your username and password to launch the Web App.

Setting a study area in ArcGIS Business Analyst based on a location

To define study areas for map creation:

  1. Create a new project by specifying a project name. 
  2. From the maps tab, click on “Define Areas.” 
  3. From the drop-down options, click on “Find location.”
Screenshot showing the "find location" menu option in ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App interface.
Figure 2: “Find location” in Business Analyst Web App.
  1. Enter an address of interest or lat/long of the location. 
  2. In the “Name your location” space, provide a desired name for the location.
  3. The “Add an area around your location” option gives room to create Rings, Drive time, or Walk time around the address.  For this tutorial, select “Walk Time” with 5, 10, and 15 minute rings.
  4. Click Apply. 
Screenshot of the ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App interface with a map with buffers showing 5, 10, and 15 minute walk times in shades of brown, green, and gray.
Figure 3: A 5, 10, and 15 minute walk time map created around our desired location in Business Web App.

It is also possible to define point locations of interest by using the locations search bar at the top right corner of the Business Analyst Web App display canvas. Ensure that the drop-down besides the search bar is set to “Add a pin.”

Screenshot showing the interface for the ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App showing how to drop a pin for a location.
Figure 4: Add point locations to Web App map canvas.

Setting a study area in ArcGIS Business Analyst that is a polygon

In other cases, geographic boundaries are used to denote study areas. To define study areas as geographic boundaries:

  1. Select “Define Areas” from the Maps tab.
  2. Select “Select geography.”

Options are provided to search boundary, select boundary from map, or select boundary from full list of ESRI’s archive. Explore from the options provided to understand how to define study areas as geographic boundaries. In the United States, geographic boundaries may be defined as the whole USA, States, Counties, Census tracts, Zip codes, Congressional Districts, Block groups, designated market areas, Metropolitan areas, Cities and towns, and County subdivisions. 

A screenshot showing a map of Texas outlined in red in ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App.
Figure 5: Defining geographic boundaries in Business Analyst Web App.

Alternatively, the locations search bar at the top right corner of the Business Analyst Web App can be used to define geographic boundaries. Ensure that the drop-down next to the search space is set to geographic boundary. Search for geographic boundaries by specifying the location’s name in the space provided. 

Screenshot showing a search by ZIP code in ArcGIS Business Analyst.
Figure 6: Location search by ZIP code for 50031 (Beaver), Boone County, Iowa.

If you need a custom area, you can also select the geographic area of interest by freehand digitizing.

To create a geographic boundary of interest by digitizing:

  1. From the “Define Areas” tab (Maps), select “Draw polygon.”
  2. Options are provided to digitize boundary as a polygon or in a freehand sketch. Click on freehand.
  3. Toggle to the area of interest by using the Web App map canvas.
  4. Use the red pointer on the screen to digitize geographic boundary. 
  5. Use “Fill and Border” options to define colors of geographic boundary. 
  6. Click “I’m done.”
Screenshot of a grayscale map in ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App showing a freehand outline of a polygon.
Figure 7: Define geographic boundary by freehand digitizing in Business Web App.

Using ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App to analyze and map data

Use the smart map search option to browse data sets

Smart map search provides a platform to explore the data for maps creation. Maximum of five variables can be selected. For this tutorial, we will explore areas where senior population (65 years plus) have consumed beer within the last 30 days at home in Boone County, Iowa. To use smart map search; 

  1. Select Create Maps from the Maps tab. 
  2. Select Smart map search. 
  3. Select “Browse all variables.”
  4. From the Data browser, type and search “senior.”
  5. From the pool of options, select “2023 senior population (Age 65+) (Esri).”
  6. Select Categories to go back to the search bar of the Data browser.
  7. Type and search “drinking.”
  8. From the pool of options, select “2023 consumed beer at home last 30 days.”
  9. Click Apply.
Screenshot showing a list of data options in ArcGIS Business Analyst.
Figure 8: Exploring the data browser in Business Analyst Web App.

Use the “guided tour” option for new users to map the data

“Guided tour” option in ArcGIS Business Web App helps new users to the platform navigate and explore the Web App with ease. To create maps from variables, let us enable the guided tour option;

  1. From the profile drop-down, select “guided tours.”
  2. From the range of options, select “create a color coded map from data.”
Screenshot showing the Guided tour feature in Business Analyst Web App.
Figure 9: Guided tour feature in Business Analyst Web App.
  1. Select “Create Maps” from the Maps tab.
  2. Select “Classic color-coded maps.”
  3. Browse to select to the datasets as demonstrated from the smart map search.
  4. Select Bivariate from style panel.
  5. Click Finish.
Screenshot from Business Analyst showing a color coded map for beer consumption among seniors in Boone County, Iowa.
Figure 10: A simply Business Analyst map showing the consumption of beer at home by senior population in Boone County, Iowa.
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About the author
Jeff Oppong
Jeff Oppong holds a BSc in Geomatic Engineering and currently a graduate student at Hohai University in China, where he's studying MSc. Harbor, Coastal, and Offshore Engineering. Jeff is a prolific researcher and a GIS/Remote sensing expert who aspires to be a change-agent and a renowned Engineer. Jeff Oppong can be contacted via email

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