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Creating custom data

This Custom data setup workflow allows you to easily add your own data and use them along with Esri Demographics data. The following step-by-step guide will help you to get started with adding feature layers that you can use in your projects and share with others in you organization. After you have added your layer you will create a color-coded map from one of the layer's variables.


To get started you will need to open the Maps tab.

  1. Navigate to Maps > Add Data > Custom Data Setup.
    Click Custom Data Setup to get started

    The Custom Data Setup dialog opens on the left. In the table, the My Data tab lists all the data layers added previously. You may click on Shared Data to see the data layers shared by other users.

    My Data tab

  2. Click Browse to select from available layers in ArcGIS Online.
    Click Browse
    • You may also directly type in a layer URL in the Enter a URL field.

    The Select a Layer dialog opens and the Public Gallery tab is open by default, and displays the map Services and Groups that other users have shared with the public.

    Public Gallery services

  3. From the choices below you will perform the fourth option. In the search field, type Toys and click Search.
    • Click My Groups to see the Groups you have access to. This includes Groups that other users invited you to, and you joined. You may select a layer to add. Groups in ArcGIS Online correspond to Projects in the Business Analyst Web app. See Shared Projects.
    • Click My Content to view a list of your services and layers in ArcGIS Online. You may select a layer to add it.
    • Click the Groups tab under Public Gallery to see a list of Groups that are shared with all users. You may select a layer from any group to add it.
    • Enter a search term in the Search for Services and Groups field, and click the Search button. You may then select a layer from the search results.
    Selecting SF_Coffee_Toys_Sales_HM service

    You may move the pointer over the SF_Coffee_Toys_Sales_HM service to view information and options for that feature service.

    SF_Coffee_Toys_Sales_HM service info

  4. Click Select this service.

    The Select a layer dialog opens, displaying the available layers in the selected feature service.

    Select the ToySales layer

  5. Click ToySales.
  6. The variables in this layer will be loaded. You may edit the variable Alias and its properties.
    Edit TOY_SALES variables
  7. Edit the Alias by clicking within its variable field and entering new text.
  8. Click Edit properties to edit the variable's properties.
  9. You may also click View Full Table to view the properties of the variables in an expanded view of the table.
    Expanded variable table view

    • Summary Type: Defines the way aggregated values are summarized.
      • Sum: Adds up aggregated values for the polygons that intersect the target area.
      • Average: Averages aggregated values for the polygons that intersect the target area.
    • Weight: An additional parameter for when Summary Type is Average that defines which field to use to get the weighted sum.
    • Apportionment Method: Defines how a variable is weighted to a portion of geography.
      • Population: Weight is based on the value representing the probability of a population at a certain point.
      • Area: Weight is based on the area of intersection between the target area and the data polygon.
    • Type: Drop-down change Double to Decimal.
    • Units: Defines the unit of the data value for its use in mapping, analysis, and reporting.
    • Field Category: Defines a category in the data browser.
    • Vintage: Sets up the vintage year that is shown in the info icon in the data browser.
    • Display Name: Sets up the variable name that is shown in the data browser.

  10. Click Save when done. A default title will be added to your new layer.

    The Save Custom Data dialog opens.

    Save Custom Data dialog

  11. Click within the Title field and replace Custom Data with Toy Sales.
  12. Click Show Report Metadata to expand the Save Custom Data dialog. You will enter additional information as seen in the image below. This additional information is optional.
    Toy Sales metadata
  13. Click Save.

    The added custom data layer will appear under My Data

    Edit options for Toy Sales layer

    You may click Additional options icon to view options for this layer.

    • Click Edit to modify the properties of the variables in the layer. Click the Edit button next to do so for any layer. Click View Full Table to open the expanded view of the table.
    • Click Share to bring up the Share dialog, which allows you to share your custom data with others in your Organization, or with all users of ArcGIS Online.
    • Click Disable to make the custom data layer unavailable for use. You will need to Enable it again.
    • Click Remove to permanently remove the custom data layer. To use a custom data layer again, you will need to add it using the Custom Data Setup workflow.

Now that you have successfully added this custom data layer, you may access it via the Data Browser in Color-Coded Maps, Smart Map Search and Comparison Reports.


  1. Variables may be applied for mapping or comparison only if they are associated with a polygon feature layer. Variables associated with a point layer are supported in Comparison Reports, but not available for mapping.
  2. If the Disable option for a data layer is applied, as seen in the above screen, the layer will not be present in the Data Browser.

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