Build infographics

Using ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App, you can create custom infographic templates for analysis of your sites.

License:

The Build Infographics workflow is available to users with a Business Analyst Web App Advanced license. To learn more about Business Analyst license types, see Licenses.

With Business Analyst Web App, you have a new way to visualize key indicators and information in the form of beautiful infographics. Infographics can be created from a set of ready-to-use templates, or you can build your own templates to create graphical data visualization. These visually compelling infographics can contain charts, graphics, tables, images, and text that can be styled to make them more engaging.

Dive-in:

This page describes how to create and customize infographic templates. To learn how to run infographic templates for sites, see Run infographics.

Use an infographic template

The following are the templates that are available to you.

Standard templates

These are predefined templates that you may use as is or as a starting point to modify and customize. For example, the Key Facts template is already populated with important demographic and spending information and a population by age chart. You can add a custom logo and save it for use or edit the content to customize the template according to your needs. To open a standard template for editing, move the pointer over it and click Open.

If you need a template that includes side-by-side comparisons for all the trade areas in a multi-ring site, use the Multi-area Comparison template.

Blank templates

These are blank templates to which you can add a custom logo and add your infographics, charts, graphs, tables, and other elements. There are two types of blank templates with which you can start.

Templates with grids

These are blank templates that have predefined suggested layouts for a logo and rows of columns. Click one of the thumbnails to get started, or click Create a custom template with grids to define a custom grid layout.

Blank template

Free-form template

This is a blank template with no predefined layout. Click Create a free-form template to get started. You can then add your custom content in the form of floating panels—that is, panels that can be placed anywhere on the template and moved around as needed.

Add a new free form panel

Click Add image Add image to add floating elements, such as images and shapes, to appear above or behind the panels in the template.

Floating element attributes

My templates

The templates you save can be accessed here. This includes templates you created, templates shared by other users that you saved, and templates added from a file or gallery.

  • Click Search Search to search for a template by name.
  • Click Refresh Refresh to refresh the list of templates. That will update the list to include, for example, templates another user shared with you since the list was populated.
  • To add a template from the gallery, click Add template > Browse gallery. The gallery is a curated selection of templates that you can browse and add to My templates.
  • To add a template saved as a file on your computer, click Add template > Add template from file.

    Browse gallery

Move the pointer over a template to see these additional options:

My templates
  • Click Open to edit the template.
  • Click Share Share to instantly share the template with other users in your organization or groups. Other users will see it under their Shared Templates tab when they sign in (or if already signed in, after they click refresh Refresh). They will be able to run the infographic for a site or, to modify it, they will need to first save it from the Shared Templates tab.
    Tip:

    Shared custom infographic templates require all supporting items to also be shared. For example, if custom data and layers used in your template are not shared, there will be missing or N/A values when others view the infographic.

  • Click Download this template as a file to download the infographic template as a file.
    Note:

    Click Share Share to select users in your organization or groups and immediately provide them access to the template. To provide it to users outside your organization or groups, download it as a file and send it to them. To see it under their My Templates tab, they will need to add it using Add template from file.

  • Click Edit metadata to edit the metadata for the infographic template.
  • Click Set as the default infographic to set this infographic template as the default display when an infographic is run for a site from the site information pop-up window.
  • Click Delete Delete to delete the template.
  • Move the pointer over Data information Data information to view data vintage and description information.
  • Move the pointer over Preview Preview for a preview of the infographic.

Tip:

You can use the download option to use an infographic template in another country. For example, you may have a useful template in the United States that you want to run for sites in France. To do so, first download the template as a file. Then select France in the drop-down menu, and use Add template from file to see it under My Templates. If this infographic template contains variables that are not supported in France, before you can run it for sites, you will need to edit the template to remove them or replace them with supported variables.

Shared templates

Templates that others in your organization created and have shared with you are listed here. To save a template, move the pointer over it, and click the Save As button. Once saved, the template will be available to you under My Templates.

Add an infographic element

Infographic templates are composed of one or more panels. To modify or build Infographic templates, you will replace or add elements to the panels. A template can have up to 10 pages. Use Add page to add additional pages. To add a panel already present in another template, click Add panel from another template or choose one of the available types of elements to insert into the panel.

Add panel.

Chart

In the Insert Chart dialog box, use the data browser on the left to select variables (including site attributes) and drag them to the chart section on the right. Vertical bar chart is the default chart but you can select a different type from the chart drop-down list. Click Create a custom variable to create a custom variable and add it to the panel. Use Chart options to customize the appearance of the chart and enhance its visual appeal by modifying the title, choosing icons, adjusting settings and placement of labels, setting axes and grid lines, enabling a legend, and so on. You have the option to add an interactive experience to some chart elements.

Insert chart element.

Image

Browse to upload an image from your machine or choose from Shapes and icons. All available icons are shown by default. Filter the list by category by clicking the Filter icons drop-down arrow.

Tip:

When a template is open for editing, you can drag supported image files (.png, .jpg, .gif, .svg), including multiple files at once, from your machine to any page of your template.

Insert image element.

You can use the controls to resize and rotate the added images, shapes, and icons.

Resize and rotate images.

There are several standard shortcuts that you can use to customize the appearance and placement of image elements.

  • Ctrl+Z (Command+Z on Mac)—Undo last change
  • Ctrl+Y (Command+Y on Mac)—Redo last change
  • Ctrl+A (Command+A on Mac)—Select all floating panels or elements
  • Ctrl+C (Command+C on Mac)—Copy selected panels or elements
  • Ctrl+V (Command+V on Mac)—Paste selected panels or elements
  • Ctrl+X (Command+X on Mac)—Cut selected panels or elements
  • Delete - delete selected panels/elements

These resize and rotation shortcuts can be used for the selected image elements:

  • When Shift key is pressed while resizing, the proportions are preserved.
  • When Ctrl key is pressed while resizing, the resizing happens relative to the center.
  • When both Shift and Ctrl are pressed while resizing, both the above behaviors will take place.
  • Pressing Shift+Up/Down/Left/Right arrow key resizes the shape horizontally or vertically.
  • While rotating, if pressing the Shift key, the rotation happens in increments of 10 degrees.

Text

You can customize the content and visual style of the text element. Click Advanced text editing to add variables to the text and add a dynamic field or notes. To enable the text to be edited by the user when exporting the infographic, check the Enable text editing check box.

Insert text element.

Infographic

In the Add Infographic Panel dialog box, you can add an infographic to the panel. Choose from one of the Standard panels available, or click Create Infographic panel to build a custom infographic. Your custom infographic panels are available under My panels. Infographic panels shared with you by others in your organization are available under Shared panels. Click Search Search to perform a keyword search for infographic panels.

Insert infographic element.

Tip:

To include site photos in the template, select the Site photos panel from the available infographic panels. When the infographic is run, you can scroll through the photos for the site and click on any photo to view it in Photo Viewer, including 360 degree and panoramic photos. 360 degree photos can be rotated to view the full extent of the image.

If you want to choose a Standard panel that includes side-by-side comparisons for all the trade areas in a multi-ring site, you can perform a search for comparisons or use the arrows to browse the available panels.

Standard panels

Table

In the Add Table dialog box, you will choose the type of table to add to the panel. You also have the option to click Change default table theme and create a custom theme or select a theme you previously saved.

Insert table element.
You can choose from three types of tables:
  • Blank Table, to start with a blank table and set the size—for example, 2 x 2 table—and then add elements to the cells of the table.
  • Table with Variables, for a table with variables that you will choose using the data browser within the Add Table dialog box.
  • Comparison Table, for a table with side-by-side comparison of the multiple trade areas (rings, drive times, walk times) in a multi-ring site. You will use the data browser within the Add Table dialog box to choose the variables for the table. You will have the option to select geography levels to compare with your site—for example, if you select Counties, the table will also include a column for the county that the site location falls within, and you can also choose to add the geographies to one of the map panels in the infographic template.
    Available geographies

Map

In the Browse and Select Maps dialog box, choose a map to add to the panel.

Note:

  1. You can add a maximum of six maps to an infographic template.
  2. When a side-by-side comparison infographic is created for more than six sites, the map panels are removed.

Available basemaps
Choose one of the basemaps or switch to the ArcGIS view to add a web map.
Available ArcGIS maps

Nearby

Nearby allows you to summarize the businesses or any other type of point locations near a site. This can be helpful when using infographics to answer questions such as which restaurants are within a mile of a candidate location for a new restaurant or where are the high traffic count points within a 10 minutes drivetime.

In the Add Nearby Locations Data dialog box, add or create a filtered table or nearby locations based on chosen attributes, to the panel. You can choose to do the following:

  • Add a pre-made table
  • Create a custom table by choosing a point layer source
  • Perform a new business search and then return here to use the layer created from the results.
Note:

In all cases, the default maximum number that will be added are the 25 closest locations. To customize this, change the Maximum number of locations setting under Customize table appearance.

Add Nearby Locations Data

Add a pre-made table

With Nearby businesses, you can do the following:

  • Select one or more popular business type from available options—for example, Banks and Credit Unions.
  • Enter your own search term—for example, coffee, to populate the list of nearby businesses with the search results.
  • Add all nearby business points.
  • To add a map with the nearby locations, check the Add the resulting nearby locations points to the map check box.
    Select business type.
    Note:

    When USA is the selected country, you can choose Data Axle or SafeGraph for the data source. Data Axle is the default selection (which you can change under Preferences, under General, in Settings). Expand the Data Source drop-down menu and click Apply to switch to the other option. To view a description of a data source, click Show details.

  • Nearby traffic—Add a list of nearby traffic count locations to the panel.

Create a custom table from point layer source

The following allow you to create a custom table from a point layer source:

  • Layer from project—Select a point layer from the current project as the source for nearby locations.
    Nearby locations
  • Browse for a layer on ArcGIS—In the Select a Layer dialog box, browse and select a web map layer, from ArcGIS, as the source for nearby locations. This experience will be very similar to selecting a web map or layer in the Web Maps and Layers workflow.
  • Use Esri Layers—Select from the list of available Esri layers.
For your selected source point layer, you can keep the preselected attributes or deselect them. You will select at least one additional attribute from the point layer.
Select additional attributes.
You have the option to filter the results further.
Filter results.
  • Using Filter by text will return all results containing the term—for example, coffee. Check the Exact match check box to return exact matches only. This is useful, for example, when searching for a specific company name only.
  • Under Filter by attribute, use Add filter to limit results by site attributes—for example, number of employees > 50. For a point layer created by the Business and Facilities search, you can filter by NAICS code, which is useful for limiting results by business type. For example, a filter by text for coffee will return nearby coffee shops as well as all other businesses that have coffee in their name. You can limit results to coffee shops only, by using the relevant NAICS code.

  • Use Add group to set combinations of filters. For example, to show large businesses only, you can add the filters to return only businesses greater than 100 employees and sales volume greater than $1,000,000. You can apply AND/OR with other combinations of filters.

Select a method to display results:

  • Show as table—Adds a table with a list of the resulting nearby locations, including associated attributes, to the infographic template.
  • Show as summary infographic—Adds a count of the number of resulting nearby locations to the infographic template.
Show as table

When Show as table is selected, the step to customize the table appearance will be available.

For both methods, you can optionally check the check box to add the resulting nearby locations to a map.

Start a new business search and return to this workflow to use that layer

This option will take you to the Business and Facilities Search workflow to perform a new business search and return you to this workflow to use the created layer as the point source here.

Interesting Facts

An Interesting Facts infographic panel reveals information about your site that makes it distinctive compared to other areas you select for comparison. Rather than selecting variables to display in the panel, an Interesting Facts panel allows you to specify a set of variables, the comparison features, and the threshold values that are used to decide what is interesting. For example, for a set of age variables, if the Median Age for your site is below your threshold of 5th percentile of the distribution, it is a candidate for inclusion in the Interesting Facts panel. See Use interesting facts for more information on how to add an Interesting Facts panel, and how interesting facts are selected and interpreted.

Use interesting facts

An Interesting Facts panel is an infographic element that reveals information about your site that makes it distinctive compared to other selected areas. Rather than selecting variables to display in the panel, an Interesting Facts panel allows you to specify a set of variables, the comparison features, and the threshold values that are used to decide what is interesting. See Understand interesting facts for more information on how interesting facts are identified.

There are two ways to add an Interesting Facts panel to your infographic template: select a ready-to-use panel, or build a panel. To add an Interesting Facts panel, do the following:

  1. In the Reports tab, click Build Reports and select Build Infographics.

    The infographics builder opens.

  2. Browse to an infographic template and click Open.
  3. Click Add element and select Interesting facts.

    The Add Interesting Facts window opens.

  4. Select a ready-to-use Interesting Facts panel. Every ready-to-use panel has a set of variables associated with it, which are analyzed to find the interesting facts. You can set preferences for the comparison features and thresholds used. Click a set of variables such as Key Facts or Income. The Add Interesting Facts window closes, and the panel is added to your infographic template.
  5. Alternatively, click Build Interesting Facts Panel. Specify the following criteria to build an Interesting Facts panel:
    • Under Select categories and/or add variables to search for the most interesting facts in your site areas, some variable categories are preselected. Click RemoveRemove next to a selected item to remove it from the list or click Clear all to remove all. Click Add variables to use the data browser to select one or more variables. Use the Select categories drop-down menu and use the check boxes to select the variable categories you want to include - for example, Health or Spending. Click ExpandExpandnext to a category to view and select subcategories within it.
    • Under Choose at least one type of variables to find in the selected categories, use the check boxes to select the types of variables you want to search for - for example, if you only want to find interesting Percent, Index, and Average values, select only those types.
    • Under Advanced options, check the Exclude forecast variables from analysis check box if you only want to search for interesting facts within current and previous years' variables.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Under Select geography level to compare with your sites, select the geographic boundary level with which you want to compare the site. Check the Optionally filter the comparison features with a larger geography check box to limit the comparison features by filtering them within a larger geography. For example, instead of using all counties in the country, you can select State in the Within drop-down menu to compare only with counties within the state where the site is located.
  8. Under Select method to display results, select Show as table to view the interesting facts as a table in the infographic, or Show as word cloud to view as a word cloud. When you run the infographic template for a site, the Interesting Facts panel is interactive for both display methods. Expand or collapse any section in a table or click any phrase in a word cloud for more detailed information. Hover over an element in the table to view a tooltip with more information. Under Advanced Statistics, view summary statistics for the fact, such as Average, Standard Deviation, and Score. See Interpret interesting facts for more information on statistics.
  9. Click Next.
  10. In the Number of interesting facts field, enter the number of facts to show in the Interesting Facts panel. Use the sliders in the graph to set the lower and upper thresholds to change the lower and upper percentile thresholds used to decide whether a variable is interesting. For example, when set at 3% and 96%, an interesting fact for the site is a variable value that is under the 3rd percentile or above the 96th percentile of the selected comparison features. You can set thresholds in one direction - for example, upper threshold at 96% and lower threshold at 0%.
Note:

It is recommended to use results in Interesting Facts panels for sites that contain at least 1000 households. When you run your infographic template for a site containing less than 1000 households, results are returned but it is recommended to use caution in interpreting the results, as the sample size is small.

Understand interesting facts

When you add an Interesting Facts panel to your infographic template, it includes the following input parameters.

  • The set of variables that is searched to find interesting facts, such as Housing variables.
  • The comparison geography features, such as counties.
  • The threshold values used to decide which variables are interesting, such as below the 5th percentile and above the 95th percentile.
  • The number of interesting facts to be included in the panel.

When you run an infographic template containing an Interesting Facts panel, the following process is used to select the interesting facts included in the panel:

  • For each variable in the set:
    • Statistics are calculated for the comparison geography features. The distribution of the variable values (for example, average home value) will be examined across all comparison features.
      Variable values distribution
      1. 50% of the values are left of this line
      2. 5% of the values are in this area
      3. 90% of the values are in this area
      4. 5% of the values are in this area
      5. 5th percentile
      6. 50th percentile (median)
      7. 95th percentile
    • If the variable value for the site falls in the set thresholds, it is a candidate for inclusion in the interesting facts panel. In this example, if the average home value for the site is is below the 5th percentile or above the 95th percentile, it qualifies as an interesting fact. The score represents how distinctive the variable value for the site is, compared to the features in the comparison layer. See Interpret interesting facts for more information on statistics.
  • The top variables, as determined by their score, are identified as interesting facts and included in the interesting facts panel.
    Note:

    When more than one derivate state of the same variable is returned (for example, Average Household Income and Average Household Income: Index), only the one with the highest score is included in the Interesting Facts panel.

Interpret interesting facts

The statistics for an interesting fact provide information about the distribution of values for that variable for the comparison features. These include standard statistics such as minimum, maximum, and standard deviation. Also included is the score, which represents how far the fact (that is, its variable value) is from the median value (50th percentile), considering the distribution of that variable's values for the comparison features.

For a site and set of comparison features, the score for a variable (var) is calculated as:

if (site var value >= median var value) {        
   score = ((site var value - median var value) / (max var value - median var value)) * 100;
} else {
   score = ((median var value - site var value) / (median var value - min var value)) * 100;
}

  • In this calculation, the median, minimum and maximum var values are of the distribution of the variable value for the set of comparison features.
  • If the interesting fact value is equal to the median value, it has a score of 0. The further the fact is from the median, the larger is the score. Facts with values equal to the maximum or minimum of the distribution have a score of 100.
  • For some sites, the fact may have a value greater than the maximum of the distribution, or lower than the minimum. In that case, the score is greater than 100.

Consider a scenario where the following settings are applied when adding an Interesting Facts panel to an infographic template:

  • Counties is selected in the Select geography level to compare with your sites drop-down menu.
  • The Optionally filter the comparison features with a larger geography check box is not checked.
  • In the Number of interesting facts field, 3 is entered.
  • For the thresholds, 5% and 95% are set.

When this infographic template is run for a site, 3 interesting facts are returned.

Note:

When not enough variables from the set have values for the site that fall within the thresholds, the number of interesting facts returned may be zero or less than the setting in the Number of interesting facts field. In this situation, consider expanding the threshold settings. In this example, modifying the thresholds to 10% and 90% may increase the number of interesting facts returned.

Click on any fact in the interesting facts table or word cloud to see more details for that fact. If average home value is returned as an interesting fact:

  • The standard statistics represent statistics for average home value for all counties in the country. For example, the minimum value is the lowest average home value of all counties.
  • If the score is greater than 100, the average home value for the site is greater than or less than the average home value for all counties in the country. In the example below, the average home value for the site is greater than the maximum value in the distribution for all counties. In this situation, it is recommended to edit the interesting facts panel and select a more detailed comparison layer in the Select geography level to compare with your sites drop-down menu. For example, if Counties is selected, you can switch to ZIP Codes or Census Tracts.
  • The histogram shows the distribution of the average home value for all counties. Outliers are identified by a different color. In this example, values below the 5th percentile or above the 95th percentile are outliers, according to the thresholds set. Click on Show all outliers to view the entire histogram and all the outlier values.
Interesting facts panel

Set preferences

You can set preferences for Business Analyst Web App in the application preferences. For building infographics, you can select the units of measurement used and set preferences for Interesting Facts panels. Administrators can set preferences for the entire organization.

To set the workflow preferences, do the following:

  1. On the top ribbon, click Preferences Preferences.

    The Preferences window opens.

  2. Expand the Reports section, expand the Infographics section, and click Build Infographics. Use the drop-down menu to select the units of measurement used when building infographics.
  3. In the Reports section, expand the Infographics section, and click Interesting Facts. Set the following preferences:
    • Use the drop-down menu to select the default geography level to compare with sites in Interesting Facts panels.
    • Click Table. Specify the number of facts to show in an Interesting Facts table and use the sliders to set thresholds for the analysis.
    • Click Word cloud. Specify the number of facts to show in an Interesting Facts word cloud and use the sliders to set thresholds for the analysis
  4. To restore the default settings, click Restore Defaults.
  5. To save your changes, click Save or, optionally, click Save and Close to close the Preferences window. To view your changes, refresh the app.