Have you ever seen an infographic and thought, Wow, I wish I could make something like that! Well, with Esri’s Business Analyst web application, you can.
Let’s start with the basics. An infographic is a visual representation of information or data, eg. as a chart or diagram (Oxford). If you work with any type of data, be it demographic, customer, market, highly-sensitive, open – you name it, you’ve probably been asked at some point to display that data in a different format than you originally found or generated it in. Mapping in Esri’s ArcGIS is a prime example of this: bringing in data from databases or Excel spreadsheets and seeing it come alive on a map. But what if you could also create call-outs, charts, graphs, icons and more, along with your map?
Say no more, and open up Business Analyst Web App. This is a tool specifically designed by Esri to be easy-to-use for business and data analysts – meaning you don’t need a GIS background to get started. This web application allows you to do things like create drive time radius rings around sites, generate site suitability scores, visualise demographic and market spend data with a few clicks of a button, and create infographics and reports in a matter of minutes.
I like to think of creating infographics in Business Analyst like creating an interactive PowerPoint slide – but with no coding required (so fears subsided!). You can bring the infographic elements you’d like onto your blank slate: chart, image, text, infographic, table, map, or nearby table. When you create an infographic, you’re essentially choosing the information and data variables you want displayed when you run that infographic on a certain area – a polygon, radius ring around a point, or geography level. Once an infographic is created, it’s stored in your Business Analyst workspace – meaning you can proceed to run it on as many areas as you’d like.
If you work on a team, you can share infographic templates across your organisation. Esri also pre-populates Business Analyst with various default templates to get started with.
Each element of your infographic is fully customisable, from adjusting to meet your company’s specific colour scheme to adjusting fonts, sizes, and any other stylistic elements. You can add logos, icons or other images. With continuous updates to Business Analyst, options for charts continue to expand – from a simple bar chart to donut, pie and waffle charts (don’t create infographics on an empty stomach).
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when creating your infographic is how to best visually represent the data you're displaying. Business Analyst comes fully-baked with over one hundred of different data variables for Ireland that can be pulled onto the map or displayed in a chart or infographic. Data is updated annually and provided by various Esri global data partners – it includes things like age breakdown, education levels, household types, purchasing power, average annual spend on food & beverages, electronics and more. Bringing this data seamlessly into your infographics and analysis lets you bring it to life – while also combining any proprietary or open data you already have and use.
Once you’ve had a play around with the different elements of the infographic builder, let your design ideas run wild – it’s time to get creating!