ArcGIS Business Analyst

Algorithmic Tweaks - Building better Customer Trade Areas

The Generate Customer Derived Trade Areas tool is an important and popular mechanism to understand the coverage area of a customer base.

Here are some examples of how organizations use it:

With the release of the ArcGIS Pro 2.2.2 Patch (2 Cubed?!) the Business Analyst team included improvements to how the tool calculates these percentages – the result will be a more accurate geographic representation of customer bases.  Dial in the focus!

Here’s a few examples of what you can expect:

These inverted polys below?  Pretty much gone.  We improved the way the trade areas are built for oddly shaped customer bases – this often happens when a store is across a bridge, along a coastline, or when there are simply not a lot of customers in an area at all.


Inverted poly

Here’s another issue that is greatly improved – we now calculate a greater point density around customers. This allows the curves to be closer to the customer points, resulting in improved arching and smoothing.

Below shows a BEFORE 2.2.2 and AFTER 2.2.2 example of this scenario using the same inputs.

Derived trade area difference with Pro 2.2.2

So there is a visual difference in overall area, but also consider these stats.  I add demographic variables to the boundaries using the Enrich Layer tool.

This clearly shows the not-so-subtle impact that the improved algorithm can have on understanding your customer base.

Customer difference

Here again is the 2.2.2 patch download.

Let us know if you have any questions!


Kyle + the Business Analyst Team

About the author

Kyle is a Principal Product Engineer with Esri - focusing on geospatial technologies and applied demographics. He is part of a global team responsible for building next generation ArcGIS Business Analyst applications.

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