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Create a report

ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App allows you to research business data to determine whether a location is feasible for an upscale movie theater. In this lesson, you'll use the app to decide whether Des Moines, Iowa, has the right population to sustain an upscale movie house in the downtown entertainment district.

First, you'll create and symbolize a map that shows your proposed theater location. Next, you'll run a Recreational Expenditures report to learn about the demographics and spending preferences around that location. A Recreational Expenditures report details how much money an area population spends on recreational activities, including viewing movies at the theater. If Des Moines has a significant theater-going population, your movie theater has a better chance of succeeding.

License your account

To use ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App, you need an ArcGIS organizational account with the appropriate license. You can assign licenses in your organization if you have an administrator role. If you're not an administrator, ask your organization's administrator for a license. If your account is already licensed to use Business Analyst, you can skip to the next section.

  1. Sign in to your ArcGIS organization with an administrator account.

    If you don't have an organizational account, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial.

  2. On the Organization tab, click Licenses.
  3. Under Applications, for ArcGIS Business Analyst Web and Mobile Apps,click Assign.
  4. In the list of users, search for your username and click Assign.
  5. Click Close.

Your account is now licensed to use the app.

Create a map

Next, you'll sign in and start using Business Analyst. First, you'll create a map that shows the location of your property and its possible service area in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

  1. Sign in to Business Analyst.
  2. On the home page, click Get Started Now.

    Get Started Now button

    If this is your first time using the app, a window opens with information about projects in Business Analyst.

  3. If necessary, read through the information and click Next until you reach the final window. In the final window, click Get Started Without Importing.

    The Projects page opens. This page contains all the projects that you've created with the app. As the information in the previous window explained, projects are all-in-one containers that allow you to organize, manage, and share your maps and data. Once a project is created, you can share and access your information via the app, ArcGIS Online, or Portal for ArcGIS.


    Business Analyst produces reports for business. The data used for these reports is automatically stored within their respective projects, so you don't need to save the data each time. Projects don't store maps; however, any time you open a project, the data is reused to draw a new map.

  4. Click Create Project.

    Create Project button

    The Create Project window opens.

  5. For Project Name, type Des Moines.

    Des Moines project confirmation

  6. Click Create.

    A window opens, explaining that a new project is being created and that the process may take a few moments. Once the project is created, another window opens for confirmation.

    Des Moines project confirmation

  7. In the confirmation window, click OK.
  8. In the list of projects, point to the Des Moines project and click Open.

    Open Des Moines project

    The project opens. It contains a map, although the map is not centered on Des Moines, Iowa.


    If this is your first project, the Step-by-Step Guided Tours window may open. This window explains several workflows that you can complete using Business Analyst. You can close this window or move it out of the way to try later. To reopen, click the Help menu and choose Guided Tour.

  9. In the search box above the map, type 200 Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA, 50309, USA. Click the address when it appears below the search box.

    Search for 200 Court Avenue

    The map extent changes to Des Moines. A marker with a pop-up indicates the address of your building. You'll add the name of your proposed theater, Brick House Movies, to the pop-up for reference.

  10. In the pop-up, click Add site name.

    Add site name

  11. Type Brick House Movies and press Enter.

    Next, you'll add a feature that represents the area that your theater will likely serve. You'll define this area based on how long it takes people to drive to your theater.

  12. In the pop-up, click Add rings, drive time, or walk time.

    Generally, the movie industry uses a 20-minute drive-time radius to determine a theater's primary trade area. Later, you'll learn about the population and income needed to sustain a new theater.

  13. Click Drive Time. For Time, type 20 in the first box and delete the values in the other two boxes.

    Drive Time parameters

  14. Click Apply.

    Drive Time area

    The map extent changes to show the area where it takes only 20 minutes or less to drive to your property.

Run a report

Now that you've created a drive-time area, you can run a report on it. This report provides demographic information about an area. The movie industry tends to focus on income and population when selecting a site for a new theater. The recommended minimum thresholds for each demographic category are as follows:

  • Total population: 250,000
  • Median household income: $50,000

Now, you'll run a report called the Recreation Expenditures report. In addition to standard demographic information, such as income and population, the Recreation Expenditures report provides insight into how people spend money on recreational activities, including theater attendance.

  1. In the pop-up, click Reports.


  2. For Select report, choose Recreation Expenditures (reports are listed alphabetically).

    Recreation Expenditures report type

  3. Click Run Report.

    After some processing time, the report is added to the Project Manager pane, which lists all the data associated with your project.

  4. Click theDes Moines tab, under Previously Run Reports, click Recreation Expenditures. (Alternatively, you can open the report from the pop-up.)

    The Recreational Expenditures report opens as a PDF file. At the top of the report is the Demographic Summary, which includes the demographic information about population and income you need. Information for 2018 is listed alongside projections for 2023, so you can see how demographics may shift over time. In this example, you can see that the area has growth potential over the next five years—a positive sign for your business idea. Based on the information provided, your theater's service area exceeds the recommended values for population and income.


    Demographic data is updated periodically, so the available variables and values may differ from those specified in the lesson. If necessary, use the most recent data.

    Demographic Summary

    Under the Demographic Summary section is a list of recreational activities and how much people in this area spend for them. Under the Entertainment/Recreation Fees and Admissions section is the Tickets to Movies/Museums/Parks category.

    Tickets to Movies/Museums/Parks

    Your property's service area has a Spending Potential Index of 105. The Spending Potential Index shows how much consumers in an area spend on something compared to the national average of 100. A value of 105 means that consumers in your area are 5 percentage points higher than the national average when it comes to buying tickets to movies, museums, and parks—a sign of good market potential for your theater.

  5. Click the Business Analyst tab to return to the app.

    You've determined that this area might be a good place to support a theater. Next, you'll clear the map before moving to the next part of the workflow.

  6. To the right of the map, click the Clear map button.

    Clear Map button

    The Clear Map window opens.

  7. Check All to select all of the items on the map.

    Clear Map window

  8. Click Clear.

In this lesson, you used ArcGIS Business Analyst Web App to determine if the Des Moines area would be a good location for a movie theater. You ran a Recreational Expenditures report about Des Moines to learn key demographic information as well as area recreational spending preferences. Based on what you've seen so far, Des Moines might support your proposed theater. In the next lesson, you'll compare Des Moines' demographic attributes with those of seven other Midwestern cities where successful upscale theaters are already operating. Based on this comparison, you'll see whether your proposal would work in Des Moines.