Business Analyst terminology

You can use ArcGIS Business Analyst Pro to apply spatial analytics and modeling, including customer and competitor analysis, territory design, target marketing, and site evaluation. Understanding the following terms will help you learn about the capabilities of the ArcGIS Business Analyst Pro extension.

Essential terminology


Block apportionment

A method in which data is estimated and aggregated for geographic areas in Business Analyst.

Business Analyst data source

The dataset Business Analyst uses to display and summarize data. You can connect to or install Business Analyst data, or access it through ArcGIS Online.


Your business patrons or those who shop at your stores. A store can exist in any industry. For example, in the medical industry, you can use Business Analyst to better understand the relationship of how patients (customers) frequent which hospital (store).

Drive time

The estimated area in which you can drive to or from a store location. For example, a five-minute drive-time area means that customers from all locations within the outer boundary can reach your store, by car, within a five-minute drive. Drive times are commonly used in site analysis.


A region around a store that defines your customer distribution or overall economic activity. Markets in Business Analyst are often designated by geographic locations and the households or population within those areas. They can be local, regional, or national scale.


The physical location where your organization conducts business, regardless of industry. For example, a retail shop, restaurant, home office, or medical facility where you can analyze the distribution of customers, demographics, or market share.

Trade area

Defines an area of influence around your store or franchise location and allows you to better understand your customer base and define your market. This analysis in Business Analyst is often done through reporting and data aggregation against trade areas. Several traditional trade area methods exist, such as rings, drive time or walk time areas, customer-derived areas, standard geography trade areas, or threshold drive times.


A numeric or text attribute used in demographic analysis, reporting, and mapping. Variables in Business Analyst are often housed in the Business Analyst data source or a statistical data collection. Variables can be apportioned to other layers, such as trade areas, using enrichment processes. Some examples of variables include total population, net worth, median age, or a custom calculation such as quarterly sales.

Industry terminology

Business Analyst tools and data are used by organizations across public and private sectors to inform location strategy and operations with spatial insights.

The language used to describe many of the features often refers to terms like business, customer, or store. The following are a few ways to think about businesses, stores, and customers:

  • Business or businesses—Any person, organization, or entity that is providing a good or service to people, places, or organizations across the public, private, and government sectors.
  • Stores—A point, or set of points, where your good or service originates or reaches the end consumers.
  • Customers—A point or set of points that represent those individuals, places, or organizations that have accessed, received, or interacted with the good or service.

The following table includes a brief description of how these terms can be interpreted more generally and some synonyms for a range of industries. If you don't see yours, send an email to

IndustryStore synonymsCustomer synonyms




Real estate (occupiers)



Real estate (operators)

Asset or facility


Manufacturing and CPG

Production facility or distribution center

Distributor, wholesaler, or end consumer

Financial services (retail banking)




Community center or organization

Funded programs, members, or donors

Health care

Hospital, medical office, or medical facility

Patients, doctors, or nurses


Agency or center



Nodes or substations

Customers (people or organizations)

Oil and gas

Nodes or source

Customers (people or organizations)

Natural resources

Source or site

Distribution points (ports, railways) or buyers

Territory Design terminology

The following table describes Territory Design terminology.



The process of creating territories that have equal statistics across a market

Base (Alignment) layer

The base geography, or building blocks, from which all territories and their levels are based


An attribute threshold to constrain territories


Customizable parameters that control the shape and size of territories

Locked territories

Territories that won’t be reassigned to other territories during the Solve operation

Seed points

Territory centers are representative of the starting point for the territory, such as offices or stores


A geographic area, or group of geographic areas, that form a boundary

Territory solution

A layer containing all the necessary elements for building, editing, and maintaining territories

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