Skip To Content

Business Analyst custom data

Available with Business Analyst license.

Custom data in Business Analyst allows you to work with your own data in mapping and analysis. Custom data allows you to define how your data is apportioned and aggregated when used with Business Analyst tools—for example, Enrich Layer.

The primary component of custom data is the ArcGIS Statistical Data Collection (SDCX). An .sdcx file is a set of variables that you create from any polygon data source to be used with Business Analyst tools. You can create a Statistical Data Collection from any proprietary, third party, or Esri-provided data.

Statistical Data Collection

A Statistical Data Collection can be created only if a local Business Analyst dataset has been installed. Once created, the properties of the Statistical Data Collection variables can be interactively edited, allowing you to control the characteristics of apportionment, weighting, and formatting. For example, you can define a population variable as a percent, or a quarterly sales variable as an average.

Within the Custom Data node of each tool’s data browser dialog box, your new variables can be selected for use. The following geoprocessing tools support custom data SDCX variables:


To get started creating your own Statistical Data Collection, follow this workflow: Create a new Statistical Data Collection.

Data apportionment

ArcGIS Pro employs a Weighted Centroid geographic retrieval methodology to aggregate data for rings and other polygons. The Weighted Centroid retrieval approach uses census block data to better apportion block groups that are not exclusively contained within a polygon. Here is a list of the apportionment methods you can apply to data fields:

  • POP_W—uses weighted population of the decennial census year.
  • HH_W—uses weighted households of the decennial census year.
  • HU_W—uses weighted housing units of the decennial census year.
  • POP_W_CY—uses weighted population of the current year dataset.
  • HH_W_CY—uses weighted households of the current year dataset.
  • HU_W_CY—uses weighted housing units of the current year dataset.
  • BUS_W_CY—uses weighted businesses of the current year dataset.

The list of apportionment methods is specific to U.S. local data. Your list will be dependent on your local data installed and is derived from the block centroid point layer.

Learn more about data apportionment.

Create a Statistical Data Collection

The following steps will guide you through the creation of a new Statistical Data Collection.

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Project group, click the Connections drop-down list Add database and click New Statistical Data Collection New SDCX.

    The Add Data dialog box appears.

  2. Browse to the location of a polygon feature class that will be used to create the Statistical Data Collection.
  3. Click OK.

    Statistical Data Collections Statistical Data Collections is added to the Project pane, containing the new Statistical Data Collection.

  4. Right-click the new Statistical Data Collection and click Edit....

    The Statistical Data Collection editor dialog box appears.

  5. Click Variables and uncheck the fields that are not useful for enriching data. Set the Summary Type, Weight, Apportionment Method, and Type for the remaining fields.
  6. Click Properties and fill in the available fields.
  7. Click OK.

Usage notes

  • A Statistical Data Collection (SDCX) is a file that stores the path to a source dataset and other custom data properties.
  • The .sdcx file is stored in the project home folder.
  • The .sdcx file is linked to the active Business Analyst dataset and references its data for apportionment and aggregation.
  • If no version of the Business Analyst dataset is installed or available, the .sdcx file becomes inactive.
  • If the active Business Analyst dataset—used to create the .sdcx file—is uninstalled or becomes unavailable, an attempt will be made to update to another version of the same country dataset.
  • The list of available apportionment methods can vary based on the data source. The default list of these weight fields is referenced from the census block centroid point layer.

ArcMap BDS layers

BDS files are a type of custom data that is created with Business Analyst for ArcGIS Desktop. BDS layers are also available in the data browser under the custom data node if local data is selected as the data source. BDS data is supported in the Enrich Layer tool.