Frequently asked questions

Listed below are frequently asked questions about Business Analyst Web App.






What type of ArcGIS organization user type and role do I need to use Business Analyst Web App?

You must have a membership in your ArcGIS organization in the form of a Creator or GIS Professional user type, which are the only user types that can be assigned a Business Analyst Web App license. To access most functionalities in Business Analyst Web App, you must view, create, and share content, for which you will need an Administrator, Publisher, or User role. The Publisher or Administrator role is required to be able to create projects. In the User role, many functionalities in the app will be accessible to you only if others in your organization have shared projects with you. Your administrator defines the privileges and permissions that can be a User, Publisher, Administrator, or a custom role. A role defines the privileges that a member has within an organization. See roles for your organization or contact your administrator.

Why can't I sign in to Business Analyst Web App?

If you have a Viewer, Editor, or Mobile Worker user type in your ArcGIS organization, or an ArcGIS public account, you can't sign in to Business Analyst Web App. To access it, you must have a Creator or GIS Professional user type in your ArcGIS organization and be assigned a Business Analyst Web App license by your administrator. To learn more, see Access Business Analyst.

Why can't I get street addresses in some countries?

There are a few countries for which there is no address coverage. The geocoding quality is a function of the degree of street-level address coverage in a country, knowledge of a country's address styles, and geocoding performance for addresses in that country. Countries for which there is no address coverage still provide admin place geocoding but don't provide street-level geocoding. For more information, see Data coverage.

How many points can I import?

For Excel and .csv files, the maximum file size is 5 MB. There is no limit on the number of points you can import, but if your file contains more than 5,000 standard geography records, you will need to select a maximum of 5,000 of them. For zipped shapefiles, the maximum file size is 3 MB. There is also a limit of 1,000 records when importing shapefiles. Files containing more than 1,000 records can't be imported.

What is a band trade area or site type?

Band trade areas are created by finding the differences in the areas between rings. The name band comes from the appearance of the trade areas. Band areas are useful if you want to know the marginal differences between trade areas.

Why does my custom PDF map look different from the map on the screen?

The create PDF or image tool uses a special map service to transform the map you are viewing into a print-quality, 300 DPI PDF. The layers and features may appear slightly different from the background maps in the application.

How can I display geographic borders and labels on top of color-coded maps?

Do the following:

  1. Click the Boundaries button Boundaries and labels in the map tools to open the Boundaries and labels window.
  2. Check the check box for the border or label you want and it appears on the map.

How can I rename or edit my previously created sites or layers?

Open the desired project and click the Options button Options next to the layer or site name to view options to edit and rename.

How can I create reports for the entire United States?

You can select the entire United States as a geography under Maps > Define areas > Select geography. Click Select from full list and click the USA button.

Why can I find certain ZIP Codes when I use Find location but not when I search for them as standard geographies?

The United States Postal Service designates some ZIP Codes as nonresidential. These ZIP Codes may represent post office boxes or be assigned to a specific organization. Because demographic data is not associated with nonresidential ZIP Codes, they can't be selected as a standard geography for mapping or reporting purposes.

Why am I unable to upload and download files from Business Analyst Web App?

With some recent versions of the Chrome browser, having AdBlock or a similar extension installed prevents you from uploading and downloading files unless these extensions are disabled. Examples of incorrect behavior include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Import file does not work.
  • Export to Excel does not work from any workflow—for example, color-coded maps, smart map search, suitability analysis, comparison reports, and points of interest search.
  • Image option under Create PDF or image does not work.
  • You can create and save custom infographic templates and run them for your sites, but you cannot export them.


Is the data for the United States only? Can I run reports for other countries?

In addition to the United States, data and reports are available for 177 countries.

Do I need to purchase a separate subscription to access data and reports for the other countries when they are available?

No, you can access the United States and all other available country data and reports with your subscription.

Is the Census 2010, 1990, and 2000 data available?

Census 2010 data and reports are included. There is a limited number of Census 2000 data that can be used in color-coded map and smart map search analysis. Census 1990 data is not included in the app.

Does the Consumer Spending dataset represent annual amounts spent?

Yes. The total, average, and index amounts for consumer spending variables represent annual figures.

How can I get my data into Business Analyst Web App?

  • You can import an Excel spreadsheet of addresses or latitude-longitude locations by clicking Maps > Add data > Import file.
  • You can import a shapefile polygon and point data by clicking Maps > Add data > Import file.
  • You can create a web map in ArcGIS and access your map for viewing and analysis by clicking Maps > Add data > Web maps and layers.
  • You can create a feature layer in ArcGIS and access it by clicking Maps > Add data > Custom data setup.

What is the daytime population data and where can I find it?

Daytime population for the United States is data from Esri that estimates the number of workers and residents in an area during the day. Use the data browser to find daytime population variables or run reports that include daytime population information, for example, Market Profile and Community Profile.

Where can I find more information about the data included in Business Analyst Web App?

To learn about the available data, visit Data in Business Analyst.

Can I combine data from different countries?

No, only the data from the currently selected country or area will be included in your reports or analysis. For example, if the United States is currently selected and part of your site is in Canada, a report run for the site will only include data for the portion that falls within the United States. You can use the drop-down menu to change the country or area.

In the Employment Infographics panel, how are the percentages of White Collar, Blue Collar, and Other employment calculated?

Each is expressed as a percentage of the Employed Civilian Population Age 16+ (Esri).

The number of White Collar employed is calculated as the sum of the following variables: Occupation: Management (Esri), Occupation: Business/Financial (Esri), Occupation: Computer/Mathematical (Esri), Occupation: Architecture/Engineering (Esri), Occupation: Life/Physical/Social Science (Esri), Occupation: Community/Social Service (Esri), Occupation: Legal (Esri), Occupation: Education/Training/Library (Esri), Occupation: Arts/Design/Entertainment/Sports/Media (Esri), Occupation: Healthcare Practitioner/Technician (Esri), Occupation: Healthcare Support (Esri), Occupation: Sales and Sales Related (Esri), Occupation: Office/Administrative Support (Esri).

The number of Blue Collar employed is calculated as the sum of the following variables: Occupation: Farming/Fishing/Forestry (Esri), Occupation: Construction/Extraction (Esri), Occupation: Installation/Maintenance/Repair (Esri), Occupation: Production (Esri), Occupation: Transportation/Material Moving (Esri).

The number of Other employed is calculated as the sum of the following variables: Occupation: Protective Service (Esri), Occupation: Food Preparation/Serving Related (Esri), Occupation: Building/Grounds Cleaning/Maintenance (Esri), Occupation: Personal Care/Service (Esri).

In the Crime Summary report, how are the crime index values calculated for custom areas?

Crime index values for custom areas such as rings, drive times, and multiple geographies are calculated as an average weighted index. For example, for a site consisting of four block groups, BG1 through BG4, the Total Crime Index value will be calculated as follows:

Block Group IDTotal Crime IndexTotal PopulationWeighted Crime




BG 1





BG 2





BG 3





BG 4








= a + b + c + d
Calculated index = (726,294/5835) = 124

= Sum (Weighted Crime) / Sum (Total Population)

Rings, drive times, walk times, and custom polygons sites are treated as a sum of the geographies contained within them, with an apportionment method used for partially contained geographies.

Why are some ACS variables not available in the data browser when building custom reports or comparison reports?

Some American Community Survey (ACS) variables are only available at the census tract and higher levels of geography, for example, ACS Hispanic Population variables. They are available for mapping in the color-coded maps and smart map search workflows. However, since these variables are not available at the block group level, they cannot be used in the block group apportionment method for reports and are not available in the build reports and comparison reports workflows.


What are mapping hexagons and how are they supported in Business Analyst Web App?

Hexagons are six-sided polygons that are used in GIS to apply a uniform grid on a map. The uniform grid represents tessellation, or when polygons repeat in a pattern where each unit fits with its neighbor without gaps or overlapping. This continuous pattern allows the curvature of data to be uninterrupted, unlike using squares in a grid on a map.

What hexagon resolutions are supported in Business Analyst Web App?

Business Analyst Web App provides data in six H3 hexagon resolutions, 2 through 7. For more information on H3 resolutions and its corresponding number of cells, average area, and average edge length, see Hexagon resolutions.

Are hexbins and hexagons different?

A hexbin uses the hexagon shape to summarize or apportion the underlying data and transform it into the hexagonal geography. The process of summarizing or apportioning is known as binning.

While the two terms are frequently used interchangeably to describe hexagons that contain mappable data, a hexbin is technically a hexagon that has been created or enhanced with some type of attribute data.

What is the difference between hexagons, transverse hexagons, and H3 hexagons?

Hexagons in Business Analyst Web App refers to a hexagon in which two of the six sides are horizontal. A transverse hexagon is rotated by 60 degrees and has two sides that are vertical. In a hexagon, the longest dimension is in the X axis, and in a transverse hexagon, it is in the Y axis.

When creating hexagons or transverse hexagons in Business Analyst Web App, the area of interest is subdivided by specifying the area of the hexagon and the bottom left/top right of the area of interest. Different sizes of hexagons will result in different meshing of the hexagon grids at each scale of hexagon because of the way an exact number of whole hexagons are fitted into the area of interest.

The H3 hexagon system uses rotated hexagons with 16 predefined sizes, known as resolutions. None of the sides of a H3 polygon align with the X or Y axis. Every hexagon cell follows the same alignment and rotation across all resolutions so that the lattice is consistent across all scales.

How does the area of an H3 hexagon change due to projections?

When working with large mapping extents, all tessellations will distort due to how the shapes of the grid lattice is projected onto the Earth's surface. This means that the area of H3 hexagons vary across resolutions. Consequently, the area and edge length are summarized as averages. Actual measured areas and lengths for individual H3 hexagons may be different.

In Business Analyst Web App, the dimensions are rounded to provide readable descriptions for each resolution. For example, a resolution 5 H3 hexagon has an average area of approximately 252.9 km² or 97.6 miles² and an average length of 9.9 km or 6.1 miles, while a H3 resolution 7 has an average area of approximately 2.0 miles² and an average length of 0.9 miles. A resolution 3 H3 hexagon has an average area of 4,785 miles² but the true geodesic area varies between approximately 2,300 and 5,800 miles².


What are credits and why do I need them?

Credits are the currency used across ArcGIS and are used for specific transactions and types of storage, such as storing features, performing analytics, and using premium content. Any ArcGIS software, including Business Analyst, that interacts with ArcGIS Online can use credits. In Business Analyst Web App, credits are used for specific actions such as running PDF and Excel reports, exporting infographics in PDF or dynamic HTML format, exporting analysis results, and more. Some actions do not use credits. To learn more, see Credits.

Do infographics consume credits?

Yes. Infographics, exported as PDF or dynamic HTML, consume 10 credits each. Viewing infographics uses 10 credits per 1,000 views.

What happens if I run out of credits?

You can add credits to your subscription at any time. Additional credits can be purchased from the Esri Store.

How can I see how many credits I've used or have left?

To see the status of your subscription, verify that you are signed in to ArcGIS Online and that you are an administrator of your organization and do the following:

  1. Click Organization.
  2. Click View status under the Subscription status section.
  3. View information about your account including the number of credits remaining.
  4. View statistics for how many credits you have used by service type.