Create a color-coded layer

Available with Business Analyst license.

Use a color-coded layer to quickly identify important patterns by viewing information about key metrics on a map. You can visually explore demographic information, consumer spending patterns, and information about business or other market conditions on the map.

Color Coded Layer workflow

To create a color-coded layer, do the following:

  1. On the Analysis tab, click Business Analysis to open the gallery, and click Color Coded Layer Create Color Coded Maps.

    The Color Coded Layer tool opens in the Geoprocessing pane.

  2. Click the Add button Add next to Classification Variable.

    The Data Browser window appears.

  3. Search the Business Analyst data in the data browser. You can use an online Business Analyst data source, a local dataset, or derive classification variables from supported ArcGIS Pro file types, such as an online feature service or local geodatabase.

    If using an online Business Analyst data source, use the following options to find variables:

    • Search—Type a variable in the Search Variables text box, such as population or income.
    • Categories—Variables that are grouped into dataset categories.
    • My Content—Content you create.
    • Shared Content—Content created by users in groups to which you belong that is shared with you.

    If using a local dataset as your data source, use the following options to find variables:

    • Search—Type a variable in the Search Variables text box, such as population or income.
    • Category—Variables that are grouped into dataset categories.
    • Custom Data—Access custom data that you create.


    Custom variables, such as Statistical Data Collection (SDCX) calculations, are not supported.

  4. Click OK to add a variable.

    The added output variable appears under Classification Variable. The Output Layer Name automatically populates with the name of the classification variable.

  5. Optionally, to remove an added classification variable, click the Remove variable button Remove variable button.
  6. Choose the Classification method to calculate the class breaks using one of the following:
    • Natural Breaks—Divide values into classes whose boundaries are set when there are relatively large differences in the data values.
    • Quantile—Assign the same number of data values to each class. There are no empty classes or classes with too few or too many values.
    • Equal Interval—Divide the range of attribute values into equal-sized breaks.
    • Geometric Interval—Create class breaks by minimizing the sum of squares of the number of elements in each class.

  7. Choose the Number of classes for the parameter value.
  8. Click Run Run to create your color-coded layer.

    The map populates with your color-coded group layer. This group layer contains individual geography levels symbolized by the selected classification variable.


    Geography levels depend on country.

  9. Optionally, save the color-coded group layer for future use by right-clicking it in the Contents pane and clicking Sharing > Save As Layer File..

Now that you have made your color-coded layer, you can change the way that the data is represented. See Symbolize feature layers for an overview of symbolization methods, or see Graduated colors to learn how to change the color assignments in your color-coded layer. Changes in symbology apply only to that level, all other levels remain unedited.

Geoprocessing tool

The Color Coded Layer workflow uses the Color Coded Layer tool. You can use this geoprocessing tool directly to perform the same analysis and build and run queries through a Python script or a model.

Related topics