In this exercise you are a business analyst for a consortium of colleges that wants to run a marketing campaign in states with high-value colleges. You've found data from the United States Department of Education that you think you can use for your campaign. You will use Insights for ArcGIS to explore and start asking questions about your data. In 30 minutes or less, you will do the following:
- Add data to your ArcGIS Online organization so it can be used in Insights.
- Launch Insights and sign in to your account.
- Create a new workbook and add data from your content.
- Learn about some of the important buttons in your workbook.
- Create maps, charts, and tables to help you understand your data.
- Interact with cards, including zooming and panning and making selections.
To complete this exercise, your account must have the following specifications:
- Creator or GIS Professional user type
- Publisher or Administrator role, or equivalent custom role
- Insights license
For more information, see Administer Insights.
Add data to your organization
The data for this analysis has been provided publicly on the ArcGIS website, where it can be downloaded to your machine. Follow these steps to access and load the data to your ArcGIS Online organization:
- Follow the link to the CollegeScorecard item.
- Click the Download button to download the item to your machine.
- Unzip the folder and save the Microsoft Excel file on your computer in a location that you can find easily.
- Sign in to your ArcGIS Online account.
- Open Insights and sign in to your account if necessary.
You can access Insights through the gallery of apps in ArcGIS Online.
After you sign in, the Workbooks page appears. If this is your first time signing in to your Insights account, the welcome window will be displayed. You can navigate through the carousel or skip to go directly to the Workbooks page.
Create a new workbook
In Insights, your analysis is done in a workbook. A workbook stores all of the pages, data, and processes from your analysis. Follow these steps to create a new workbook.
- On the Workbooks page, click New workbook.
- Click Excel or CSV.
- Click Browse my computer and open the Excel file or drag the file onto the Add To Page window. Click Add.
- Click Untitled Workbook and replace it with a unique and useful title, such as US Colleges - Your Name. Including your name in the title will make your workbook easier to find if you share your work. Click Save.
Explore your workbook
Using a new software product for the first time can be intimidating. This section walks you through some of the key aspects of the user interface so that you are more comfortable with it when you start to explore your data. If you are already familiar with buttons and controls in Insights, you can skip this section.
- Take a look at the workbook and notice some of the key features:
- The Undo and Redo buttons in the upper left can be used to undo and redo processes such as performing analysis or creating a new card.
- Add can be used to add a new dataset to your page.
- The Map, Chart, and Table buttons can be used to create cards without dragging fields or datasets. The three buttons are dimmed because no data has been selected.
- The Widget button can be used to add other card types, such as text and media cards, or predefined filters.
- The Create Relationships button can be used to join datasets using common fields.
- The Analysis view button can be used to view a model of your analysis. The model is created automatically as you work in your workbook.
- The Basemaps button can be used to change the basemap for your map cards.
- The Page Settings button can be used to change settings, such as the background color, for the entire page.
- Hover over the dataset in the data pane and notice the two buttons beside the dataset name:
- The Rename dataset button is used to edit the name of the dataset.
- The Dataset options button is used to open a menu containing more actions available for the dataset.
- Click the Dataset options button for the dataset. The menu opens to show the following options: Enable Location, View Data Table, Advanced Filter, Remove Dataset, Refresh Dataset, Hide Selected Fields, Show Hidden Fields, and Share Data.
- Expand the dataset in the data pane. The fields in the dataset are displayed, along with symbols indicating the field role. You can select fields and drag them to the page to create maps, charts, or tables. You can also use the buttons above the data pane to create maps, charts, and tables.
Explore your map
This section will walk you through some of the basic interactions you can make with map cards, but first you will have to enable location on your Excel file.
- Click Dataset options for the Excel file and choose Enable Location from the menu.
- Click Run.
- Expand the dataset in the data pane.
- Drag the dataset onto your page and drop it on the Map drop zone to create a map of United States colleges.
- Drag the corners of the map to make it larger. You can also drag the card to a different position on the page.
- Press Shift and draw a rectangle around the continental United States with your mouse to zoom in. You can also use the Zoom tools button from the card toolbar to zoom in and out.
- Select the TYPE field in the data pane and drag it to your map.
- Open the Layer options pane using the expand button next to the TYPE layer on the map.
- Click the Pop out legend button .
- Resize the legend and move it to the bottom left corner of your map.
- Click Private For-Profit on the legend. The for-profit schools are selected on the map and the other schools fade into the background.
- Zoom and pan around your map to look for patterns in for-profit schools. Zooming can be done using the zoom tools outlined in step 6, or using the scroll wheel on your mouse. Panning is done by clicking and dragging the map. If you get lost, use the Default extent button to zoom to the full extent of the data.
If necessary, you may want to change your basemap so that city labels and map symbols are easy to see. The Light Gray Canvas is a good option. You can change the basemap using the Basemaps button .
- Click Private Nonprofit in the legend to change the selection on the map. Zoom and pan around the map again looking for patterns in the nonprofit schools.
- Click Public in the legend to change the selection on the map. Zoom and pan again to look for patterns in the public schools.
- Click Public again to clear the selection.
- Save your workbook.
If you prefer to use buttons, you can select a field from the dataset and click the Map button above the data pane.
Create charts and tables
Finding spatial patterns in your data is important, but you may also want to learn more about the nonspatial aspects of your data. You can do that using tables and charts.
- If necessary, expand the CollegeScorecard.Table1 dataset.
- Hover over the REGION field in your dataset and click the circle that appears. Do the same for the COST field. Blue circles around the check marks indicate selected fields.
- Drag your selections to the Table drop zone.
If you prefer buttons to dragging fields, click Table above the data pane after you select your fields.
- Instead of a sum of costs, average costs would be more helpful to know. Change the COST statistic from sum to average. Use the arrows beside the COST statistic to sort the costs in descending order.
- Click the Visualization type button on the card and choose Bar Chart. The table updates to show a bar chart.
- Click REGION on the y-axis of the bar chart to expand a menu of fields. The REGION field is a string field, so all of the fields listed in the menu also contain strings.
- Click TYPE to change the value on the axis. The bar chart now shows the type of college and the average cost.
- Click the Legend button and click on the Options tab if necessary.
- Change the Symbol type to Unique symbols. Close the Layer options pane.
- Save your workbook.
Analyse your data with statistics
You now know which types of colleges have the highest costs. It would be good to know how much of an effect the costs have on earnings after graduation.
- Select COST and EARNINGS in the data pane.
- Drag the fields to the Charts drop zone and drop them on Scatter Plot.
- Click Color by on the x-axis and choose TYPE.
- Click the Chart statistics button in the card toolbar and choose Linear. Close the Chart statistics pane.
- Click the Enable cross filters button on the scatter plot. A cross filter allows you to quickly filter data on a card by making a selection on a different card.
- Click Private For-Profit on the map legend. The for-profit colleges are selected on the map and bar chart, and the scatter plot is filtered to show only for-profit schools.
- Select Private Nonprofit, then Public on the map legend and take note of the R² values of each college type.
- Save your workbook. If you want to continue to the Solve a spatial problem lesson, then leave the workbook open. Otherwise, return to the Workbooks page using the My Workbooks button or exit Insights.
If your scatter plot is displaying the fields on the wrong axes, you can change them using the Switch axes button .
Now that you have learned how to use your workbook, you can start using your own data and expertise to create workbooks that matter to you.