ArcGIS Online

Tips for managing credits consumed by analysis tools

ArcGIS Online provides a variety of analysis tools that enable you to perform spatial analysis and gain insights from your data. These tools include summarizing data, finding locations, analyzing patterns, data enrichment, proximity analysis, and more. For those with appropriate privileges, these tools can be found by clicking the Analysis button on the Settings (light) toolbar.

Analysis tools

Feature analysis tools are built into your organization, raster analysis tools and raster functions are available via ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online.

Credits are the currency used in ArcGIS Online. While most of what you do does not require credits, credits are consumed when you use analysis tools. The specific tool, tool options, and the number of features involved in the analysis directly influence the number of credits used.

While many analysis tools you use consume very few credits, when working with large numbers of features, or when batch geocoding or enriching layers, the credits consumed can add up. Here’s some tips on how to manage and economize analysis tool credit consumption.


Govern analysis tool access

Savvy administrators will govern access to analysis tools and other functions within an organization by assigning the appropriate user type, role, and privileges to members. In general, the licensing requirements for spatial analysis are:

While the above roles and types enable most tools, some tools require additional privileges. To learn more about the credits consumed and licensing requirements for specific tools, view the tool Help documentation. Each tool has sections covering credits and licensing requirements.

Analysis tool Help topic

For example, viewing the Help for Create Buffers you can discover the credits and licensing requirements (which are the same as listed above). Generate Travel Areas consumes credits plus has additional licensing requirements (Network Analysis privilege). Zonal Statistics consumes credits plus has additional licensing requirements (ArcGIS Image for ArcGIS Online).


Configure credit consumption

Administrators can also configure credit consumption for members. While not limited to analysis tools, these limits apply to members using them. Credit budgeting applies to transaction-based services and tools, such as geoenrichment and spatial analysis.


Look before you spend

You can preview the credits that will be consumed prior to running an analysis. Set all the desired tool options and prior to clicking Run, click Estimate credits to preview the credits that will be used with the current settings.

Estimate credits


Use display extent

By default, the analysis is applied to all features in the layer (full extent). You can zoom to your primary area of interest and use the display extent setting in the Environment settings to reduce the number of features processed during analysis, which reduces the credits consumed.

For example, shown below an analysis with summary statistics was configured for a layer with many thousands of features. By zooming in to a specific area of interest and using the display extent to limit the number of features processed, the credits were reduced significantly.

Processing extent
View larger image


Use filter expressions

You can apply filters to limit the features considered during analysis to only those that match. Apply one or more filter expressions to the layer to focus only on those features you want, reducing the features (and credits consumed) for analysis.

Filter expressions


Consider tool options

Some tool options will increase credit consumption. For example, if you choose lots of enrichment variables, the number of credits consumed will increase. Also, the measurement type (e.g., line distance vs. driving distance) if available in the tool will affect the number of credits used. Set the tool options, then estimate credits to ensure you’re using credits wisely.


More information

For more information, see the following help topics:

This post was originally published on July 26, 2016, and has been updated.

About the author

Corporate technology evangelist and advocate at Esri, focusing on ways to broaden access to geographic information and helping customers succeed with the ArcGIS system. On a good day I'm making a map, on a great day I'm on one. Email or connect on LinkedIn (


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