The suitability analysis workflow identifies sites that meet criteria you define. Criteria includes variables from the data browser, such as population density, household income, or average annual daily traffic. Each variable can be standardized and weighted. You can also add your own data or set up custom data to use different geographic boundaries or custom suitability criteria. As a result of the suitability analysis, each site is scored, and the results are shown in an exportable results table and map layer. The site ranking score is represented as a color-coded symbols on the map.

## Example

A small business owner of laundry facilities is interested in expanding into new markets. The business owner has analyzed what factors have contributed to a successful facility, such as parking spots, areas with a high percentage of renter-occupied housing, and areas with relatively high population density. The business owner uses these criteria to perform a suitability analysis analyzing block groups in Dane County, Wisconsin. The sites' suitability scores are returned in two places: color-coding of the block groups on the map and in an exportable results table.

To create this example yourself, see the Expand a small business tutorial.

## Limitations

You can select a maximum of 5,000 existing sites. Alternately, you can select up to 1,000 features on the map-for example, features added to the map through points of interest search or by importing a file.

## Credits

This workflow consumes credits. Export results to Excel costs an estimate of 10 credits per 1,000 records.

See Credits for full information about credit consumption in Business Analyst Web App.

## Results

The Suitability analysis workflow pane displays the settings that are used to calculate each criterion's score. You can view the results of the analysis in the Suitability analysis results table, which can be exported into an Excel spreadsheet. Each site on the map is color-coded to represent its suitability analysis score.

To set preferences, such as turning the intro page on or off, setting color defaults, and adjusting the point layer influence to be positive or negative, see Perform a suitability analysis.

### Suitability analysis workflow pane

The settings that inform each variable's score calculations are found in the Suitability analysis pane.

1 | Add criteria option | This option provides a quick way to add suitability criterion to your analysis. Select additional variables by choosing a criteria list, adding variables from the data browser, adding attributes from your sites, or adding a point layer. |

2 | Criteria variable | This displays the variable being used as a suitability criterion. You can temporarily remove the criteria variable from the analysis by un-checking the check box next to the variable name. |

3 | Weight | This displays the weight of the criteria. The weights for all criteria add up to 100 percent. Therefore, if you increase or decrease the weight for any criteria, the weights for each remaining criterion automatically decrease or increase proportionately. To prevent the weight of a criterion from changing, click the Lock button |

4 | More options/Fewer options | This button provides additional options to refine your suitability criteria by modifying the criteria's influence and threshold values. Click Fewer options to collapse the options menu. If your options menu is collapsed, click More options to expand it. |

5 | Influence | This displays the influence of your criteria using the options positive, inverse, or ideal. By default, the influence for each suitability criterion is set to positive. |

6 | Threshold | This displays the threshold for your criteria, which is its range of values. Adjust the slider handles to define the minimum and maximum values included in the analysis or enter values manually. |

7 | Refine results | This menu displays options to refine your results, such as only showing location, changing the ranking color of sites, or filtering the results by rank or score. |

8 | Show locations only | This button can be activated or deactivated to show locations only, which means to view sites without rings, drive times, or walk times. In this mode, the site locations on the map are numbered by their suitability rankings. |

9 | Ranking color | This option provides different color ramps that you can use to color-code your suitability analysis results on the map. |

10 | Filter | This option filters results by either score or rank. Change the minimum and maximum values for a more refined results list. |

11 | Export | Click Export to export your suitability analysis results into an Excel spreadsheet. |

### Suitability analysis results table

The results of this analysis appear in the Suitability analysis results table. Hover over an item in the results table to highlight the corresponding site on the map. Click any column header to sort the table by the data in that column.

1 | Site | This column displays the name of each site. Each row represents a different site. Double-click any row in the table to zoom to the corresponding site on the map. |

2 | Rank | This column displays the rank of a site when compared to the other sites in the analysis. |

3 | Final score | This column displays the final score of a site as both a numeral and a color swatch. The color matches the color-coding on the map. |

4 | Variable | This column displays the variable as a suitability analysis criterion. Each criterion includes a value, score, and weighted score. |

5 | Value | This column displays the raw value of the criteria, which can be a number, percentage, or index value. |

6 | Score | This column displays the score for your criteria for a specific site. A site's final suitability score is calculated by adding the weighted scores for each of the variables used in the analysis. |

7 | Weighted score | This column displays the weighted score of your criteria for a specific site. The weighted score for each variable is calculated as a percent difference between the value for a given site and the target value selected by the user. A site's final suitability score is calculated by adding the weighted scores for each of the variables used in the analysis. |

8 | Horizontal scrolling | Use this bar to scroll horizontally to see the data of more variables. |

9 | Vertical scrolling | Use this bar to scroll vertically to see the data for different sites. |

## Suitability score calculations

The settings that inform each variable's score calculations are found in the Suitability analysis pane. Each variable and its weight in the analysis is displayed in a box. The influence and range of values for the variable found under More options.

### Positive influence

Positive influence means that the higher the value of the variable, the greater its effect on the final score. This is calculated as the variable value for a site minus the minimum value for that variable, divided by the range of values. This score is then multiplied by the weight assigned to the variable in the analysis. The formula is as follows:

For example, you have added the Total Population variable to a suitability analysis. The population at your site is 332,525 and the range of population at all your sites is 153,957 to 727,103. You've weighted the variable at 25 percent of the total suitability score. The calculation is as follows:

### Inverse influence

Inverse influence means that the lower the value of the variable, the greater its effect on the score. This is also referred to as negative influence. This is calculated as the maximum value for a variable minus the variable value for a site, divided by the range of values. This score is then multiplied by the weight assigned to the variable in the analysis. The formula is as follows:

For example, you have added the Total Population variable to a suitability analysis. The population at your site is 332,525 and the range of population at all your sites is 153,957 to 727,103. You've weighted the variable at 25 percent of the total suitability score. The calculation is as follows:

### Ideal influence

Ideal influence defines an ideal value for the variable. The closer the value of the variable to the specified ideal, the greater its effect on the score. This is calculated as the ideal value for a variable minus the variable value for a site, divided by the difference between either the ideal and the minimum, or the ideal and the maximum (whichever value is greater). This score is then multiplied by the weight assigned to the variable in the analysis. The formula is as follows:

For example, you have added the Total Population variable to a suitability analysis. You have set the ideal value for the variable as 500,000. The population at your site is 332,525 and the range of population at all your sites is 153,957 to 727,103. You've weighted the variable at 25 percent of the total suitability score. The calculation is as follows:

## Licensing requirements

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

## Resources

See Perform a suitability analysis to learn more.