Build a report template

Reports help you learn about a site, outlining key facts such as business and demographic information. Create report templates using content from existing reports and variables from the data browser. Customize your reports by adding charts, images, maps, and text.


Building reports is available to users with a Business Analyst Web App Advanced license. To learn more about Business Analyst license types, see Licenses.

There are two ways to add content to a report template. You can add content from existing reports, and you can add variables from the data browser.

To build a report template, do the following:

  1. On the Reports tab, click Build reports and click Build reports again.
  2. Click Get started.

    There are two Get started buttons. The button you choose determines which tab is open initially in the builder: Select reports or Select variables. You can switch between the tabs as you add content to your template, so choose either button to start the workflow.

  3. Optionally, use the Select reports tab to browse or search existing reports. Once you have selected a report, drag the desired sections to the builder pane or click Add full report.

    You can select multiple sections by pressing the Shift key and clicking.

  4. Optionally, use the Select variables tab to find variables in the data browser. Drag the desired variables to the builder pane.

    You can select multiple variables by pressing the Shift key.

  5. Insert items in the report template and edit the report template.
  6. When you are finished, click Save.
  7. In the Save report template window, create a title for the template and click Save.

    The template is saved in the My reports section of the Select reports tab.

Insert items in a report template

You can insert items such as charts, tables, text, maps, and images in a report template. Some options are only available when report sections or cells are selected in edit mode.

The Insert item drop-down menu contains the following options:

  • ChartInsert a chart in the template by selecting variables from the data browser.
  • Chart from selectedInsert a chart composed of variables selected in the template. This option is available in edit mode.
  • Chart in cellInsert a chart inside a selected cell by selecting variables from the data browser. This option is available in edit mode.
  • Image floatingInsert an image.
  • Image in cellInsert an image in the selected cell. This option is available in Edit mode.
  • MapInsert a map in the template.
  • Nearby locations tableInsert a table with nearby locations.
  • Page break—Insert a page break.
  • TableInsert a table in the template. This option is available in Edit mode.
  • Text boxInsert a text box in the template. This option is available in Edit mode.

Work with report templates

The Select reports tab displays available reports by category, such as Business, Demographics, and Market Potential. When you select a report in these categories, it opens in the selection pane, allowing you to drag sections into the builder pane as you build a template.

Additionally, reports you have created or that have been shared with you are stored in the following sections:

My reports

The My reports section contains report templates you created and saved. Hover over a report for options:

  • Edit—Open the report template in edit mode.
  • Share—Share the report template with other users.
  • Download—Download the template as a file.
  • Remove—Remove the report.

Shared reports

The Shared reports section contains report templates shared with you by other users. Hover over a report for options:

  • Save report—Save the report to the My reports section.
  • Download—Download the template as a file.

Update labels and variables for data updates

When data is updated, you must update the year labels and variables in your infographic and report templates. If updates are needed, the Data update notification window appears when you sign in.

  1. In the Data update notification window, click Yes.

    Copies of all your reports and infographics are created in the new data source and variables that exist in both data sources are updated. For example, Total Population is available in both the Esri 2021 and Esri 2022 data sources, so it is automatically updated.

    Variables that do not exist in the new data source are labeled Missing, or are removed from the template and display as blank. Missing variables, including those in interactive experience panels, must be manually replaced in the build infographics and build reports workflows.


    At this point, variables have been updated and the labels have not.

  2. Use the Update custom reports window to review your report and infographic templates. To update labels in a template, use the following buttons:
    • Update this & remaining reports—Update labels in all the reports and infographics in the list.
    • Update this report—Update labels in the highlighted report or infographic.
    • Update this report later—Update labels in the selected infographic or report at another time.
    • Leave this report as is—The report is not updated and the year labels are not changed.

    When labels are up to date in the template, the template is marked with a check Check icon.

Usage notes

Keep in mind the following limitations and best practices when building report templates:

  • When specifying site attributes as variables, avoid using reserved words such as SITE_NAME as variable names. If your site attributes include reserved words, it is recommended that you modify them in the report template. Otherwise, the application will not recognize the difference between the site name and the attribute called SITE_NAME.
  • Options for sharing may vary depending on the security and roles of your organization. Once shared, reports are stored in ArcGIS Online > My Content > Report Templates.
  • There is a limit of 100 inches or 10 letter-sized pages in a report template.

Set preferences

You can set preferences for Business Analyst Web App in the application preferences. For building reports, you can create a report subtitle and turn off workflow dialog pages. 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 appears.

  2. Expand the Reports section, expand the Overall settings section, and click Settings.
  3. Enter text in the Report subtitle field as default subtitle on all reports.
  4. Use the check boxes to turn the following dialogs on or off when you run the workflow: Show report introductory page, Show build report introductory page, Show custom PDF map report ready dialog, and Show share reports dialog.

    You can restore the default settings by clicking 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.