Available with Business Analyst license.
The Custom Data Setup Wizard allows you to set how your data is apportioned and aggregated. This data can used throughout Business Analyst for mapping, reporting, and analysis. This allows for the best statistical accuracy, especially so at local levels of analysis. For example you might have quarterly sales data you want to weight by population - then thematically map the areas where the most people have purchased a particular product. To enable your data for use in Business Analyst calculations, any standard ArcGIS feature layer can be used. The Custom Data Setup applies metadata that allows Business Analyst to perform these calculations - if a numerical field is an average (such as median age) or total (such as household counts).
Your custom Business Analyst data can be created and accessed using two different pathways, through local or online scenarios.
- Local – this is a traditional method of building BDS layers and saving them on your local drive. A BDS layer, or Business Analyst Datasource, is a custom ArcGIS feature class that allows Business Analyst to understand how to calculate and display your data. Only Business Analyst can read .bds file extensions. For more information on BDS layers read What is a BDS layer?
- Online – this is a method where any ArcGIS feature class can be published to your organization (via ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal) and accessed through different sharing options. This method allows for a centralized storage of your custom data. You must be signed in to your ArcGIS organization to use the online data option.
BDS Layers can be created in two main ways, using Business Analyst Data and Importing Your Own Data.
- Business Analyst Data – this workflow allows you to use the installed Business Analyst datasets. You can build custom variables based on this data and create convenient subsets of the complete dataset. For example you can separate out only the income variables.
- Importing Your Own Data – this workflow allows you use your own data directly, such as your own Sales by ZIP Code boundary data, or join your variables to standard Business Analyst boundaries.
- Select Create BDS Layer by importing your own data and click Next.
- Select the Business Analyst Base Geography layer that corresponds to the data on which you want to build your BDS layer. For example, if you want to create a new BDS layer with sales at the ZIP Code level you would select ZIP Codes within the Select Base Geography layer drop-down menu and choose ID from Select the join ID of your base geography layer drop-down menu.
- You have the option to add your own data to the base geography. Choose your custom data from the Select your custom data window. Click Add.
- Option 1: Select the layer or table that will be added to the BDS layer. This option creates a BDS layer using custom data stored in a database. With this option, make sure your dataset has a geographic ID that can be used to join it to the base geography layer selected in the previous step.
- Option 2: Select a point layer to summarize. This option creates a BDS layer using point based data such as point of sales data stored in a point shapefile. This option will spatially join your data in the selected point layer to the base geography layer selected in the previous step. This is recommended only for data that you can sum up such as sales and is not recommended for pre-calculated variables such as medians.
- Once your data is selected, click Next.
- Select the desired variables to build your new BDS layer on. You
can select any combination of variables from your custom data
and/or data contained in the Business Analyst datasets.
- Apportionment Method determines how a variable is apportioned to a portion of geography. When an analysis cuts across a geography, the analysis includes only the value of the variable that falls inside the analysis area. Depending on the variable, you can choose apportioning by area or one of the three primary demographics at the block point level (Population, Households, or Housing Units). For any standard Esri variable selected, the Apportionment Method is automatically selected. When selecting your own data, be sure to change the Apportionment Method to reflect the source of your data. For example, if your variable was Sales by ZIP Code and was based on household data, select Households 2010.
- Available Variables displays all available variables including custom variables.
- Import Custom Data Parameters... allows advanced users who build their own datasets to import data that is stored in the form of metadata easily.
Variable stub name with maximum of 10 characters. This field contains unique values.
The name identifying the group to which the variable belongs. For example, 2022 Average Household Income is in the 2022 Income category).
32 character variable description used to display data in Business Analyst.
Alternate Variable Description
Alternate 32 character variable description used to display data in Business Analyst. Can be used for second languages in the application.
Detailed description of the variable.
Indicates how to aggregate data for custom areas. Values can be equal to SUM or CALC. SUM=summary item that can be added (Total Population); CALC=must be calculated (Average Household Income).
For block-to-block group apportionment. Values can be equal to POPWGT_CY, HHWGT_CY, HUWGT_CY, BUSWGT_CY. Use this variable for weighting when creating custom areas such as Population Age 0-4 uses a population weight POPWGT_CY; Agriculture Businesses uses a business weight BUSWGT_CY.
List of variables required in the associated formula. Use the 10 character variable name. Required if a formula is available.
Formula used for calculating custom areas. This is only required for variables with aggregation equal to CALC.
Weight the variable based on another variable.
Number of decimals to display.
Used for formatting the display of data on reports. Values can be equal to COUNT, CURRENCY, PCT, TEXT. Use COUNT to display data without decimals. Use CURRENCY to display data with currency symbol and two decimals. Use PCT to display data with one decimal and percent symbol. Use TEXT to display as written.
Denominator for percent calculation.
Indicates whether a variable can be indexed. Values can be TRUE or FALSE.
Base area values in calculation of the index of the variable. Use the 10 character variable name.
Advanced users can access additional variable options by right-clicking in the right box and selecting Advanced Mode. These are the three advanced categories:
- Category - Text description that determines how the variables are displayed in variable lists in the Business Analyst wizards.
- Weight - Weight the variable based on another variable; that is in the block group layer, you could choose to weight consumer expenditures on furniture by Total Households. This provides you with the amount spent per household on furniture in a trade area.
- Aggregation method - Combines variable values. The options are to sum the value; average the values; use the min value; use the max value; or calculate the median, standard deviation, or variance.
Create New Variable
For example, you can create a population density field by taking the total population and dividing it by area. Be sure that all variables needed to calculate the new field are in the selected fields list in the previous dialog box. When creating custom formulas in this wizard, you must use the VBScript functions.
- The Create New Variable options allow you to create, edit and import custom variables using the respective buttons in the Create New Variable dialog box below.
- Create your new calculations using the standard Field calculator operations or using VBScripts.
- The first example simply adds two population cohorts together:
ReturnValue ( GetValue("POPU5_CY") + GetValue("POP5_CY") )
- The second example is a bit more complicated and calculates a penetration rate. This is a simple function that protects against a division by zero error:
Dim hh hh = GetValue("TOTHH_CY") Dim sales sales = GetValue("SALES") if (hh > 0) then ReturnValue ( 100 * (sales / hh) ) else ReturnValue(0) end if
Below are two calculated variables samples for creating a BDS layer:
You can publish hosted feature layers in your map using the Custom Data Setup Wizard. Publishing custom data creates a new hosted feature service that can enable anyone in your organization to perform analysis using Business Analyst or Business Analyst Web App.
Custom data can be created using a hosted feature layer or a feature layer that resides on your local drive. Create and publish custom data by following these steps:
- From the Business Analyst menu select Custom Data Setup...
- In the resultant window select Setup Custom Data and click Next
- You will choose from either the Local Feature Layer in current map or Hosted Feature Layer in current map option. The hosted feature layer must be added to your map document through the Add Data tool.
- Check the Select Advanced Options check box to choose which variables to include in your custom data item. You can also change Summary Type, Apportionment Method and Weight Variable.
- Summary Type - defines how the apportioned values are summarized to produce the final result.
- SUM - sums up apportioned values for the polygons that intersect the target area.
- AVE - averages apportioned values for the polygons that intersect the target area.
- MAX - Apportions the maximum value of the polygons that intersect the target area.
- MIN - Apportions the Minimum value of the polygons that intersect the target area.
- Apportionment Method - defines how the values from the underlying data is apportioned.
- POP - is based on the value representing the probability of a population at a certain point.
- GEOM - weight is based on the area of intersection between the input boundary and the data polygon.
- Weight Variable - an additional attribute for AVE defining which field to use to get the weighted sum.
- Summary Type - defines how the apportioned values are summarized to produce the final result.
- Name the new custom data item and check Share with organization. You have to option to share with groups within your organization. Click Finish.