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Summer 2006

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Esri's New Business Analyst Web Services

ArcWeb Services Integrate Business Analysis and Data into Online Applications

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Architecture of Business Analyst Web Services.
Data is integral to every organization's decision-making process. Companies, agencies, and organizations collect data every day in various files and databases, such as point-of-sale data. Oftentimes, these data sources are then aggregated, analyzed, and distributed in report format, either digitally or in hard copy. For example, a retail franchise business may produce a report comparing the number of new stores opened this year to last year, while also providing the location of each new store. The report provides an understandable framework to help answer questions, such as: Have we opened enough new stores in the right locations this year to meet our goals?

However, what if more detailed questions need to be asked, such as: How far are the stores from each other? How far is each store from a competitor's store? Where are the best places to locate new stores? All the information needed to answer these types of questions may not reside in the company's files and databases. Obtaining access to data that can provide answers to these important questions needs to be easy, and the data must work with existing applications, decision-making tools, and models within the organization.

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Sample of Business Analyst Web Services PDF report.
Business Analyst Web Services provide access to demographic, consumer expenditure, and business data to developers who are building database and GIS applications. Typical projects for these developers include building applications for site selection and evaluation, market analysis, and competitive analysis in both the public and private sectors. Functionality is provided through more than a dozen SOAP Web service methods that access more than 20 U.S. consumer, demographic, and thematic datasets that are hosted by Esri.

Demographic data helps organizations analyze trends, identify growth, and discover new business opportunities. For example, health care officials who want to understand populations in response to health care access or public health problems would probably use the same demographic data as economic development agencies that need to assess the local area workforce in order to attract new businesses. Esri's demographic data is based on current-year updates and five-year projections to provide users with the most updated information and trends.

Consumer expenditure data in Business Analyst Web Services provides information about categories of consumer household spending and buying habits for various products and services. This information is used to make decisions about expanding product and service offerings, targeting specific markets, and identifying best areas to market products and services or open a new store location. Esri's consumer expenditure data is based on the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey data and other demographic and economic data.

Business data details the total number of businesses and total employees in a specified area, comparing the daytime versus residential populations. Other data includes information about existing major shopping centers and traffic counts that help businesses estimate traffic volume around a specific location. Esri's business data is based on information from the Directory of Major Malls, Inc.; infoUSA; and MPSI DataMetrix, an Esri Business Partner, among others.

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Sample of Business Analyst Web Services PDF report.
Business Analyst Web Services output this data in aggregate form so that it can be easily analyzed to reach a decision or serve as input into an existing model for further analysis. Business Analyst Web Services obtain the necessary raw data from Esri's ArcWeb Services, aggregate it, and return the results in several user-friendly formats, such as Adobe PDF, Microsoft Excel, or XML.

Some of the other capabilities include

  • Define up to three areas to analyze per report.
  • Define an area by a ring around a coordinate or by user-defined polygons.
  • Define an area by geographic areas, such as counties, ZIP Codes, or census tracts.
  • Customize the subtitle, site/area information, and other header information.
  • Define a study area by selecting one or combining several states, counties, places, congressional districts, core-based statistical areas, county subdivisions, designated market areas, ZIP Codes, or census tracts.

Business Analyst Web Services are a subset of Esri's ArcWeb Services. ArcWeb Services offer developers a comprehensive Web services platform for integrating mapping, GIS data, and content into browser, desktop, server, and mobile applications.

More Information

For more information about Business Analyst Web Services or to request an evaluation subscription, visit

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