How Set Up Customers Using Tabular Data works

This tool allows you to add tabular data of your customers to your map. The Customer Setup tools geocode your data and place it as points on your map. When data is added to your map, it will be associated with the analysis extent that is active at the time. If the active analysis extent is a study area, the layer will be added to the group layer of that study area. You can change the analysis extent at any time using Set Analysis Extent on the Business Analyst menu.

Your tabular data can be in the form of a .dbf, a comma- or tab-delimited .txt file, or an RDBMS. If your data is in an RDBMS, you must bring the data into ArcGIS before you can set it using the tools in Business Analyst. To do this, click the Add Data button, click the Look in drop-down arrow, then click Database Connections. Choose the database connection and step through the wizard to finish adding the database to ArcMap. You can also set up a database connection in ArcCatalog. Only customers that fall in your study area will be analyzed if you have set up a study area using the Create Study Area wizard and that study area is set as the analysis extent.

The Set Up Customers Using Tabular Data tool will geocode points on the map by Address/City/State/ZIP (optional), Address/ZIP, ZIP, or ZIP+4. The more information you provide, the better your geocoding results will be. If you do not have addresses in your database and will be geocoding by ZIP or ZIP+4, click ZIP or some other database field in the Address drop-down menu and ZIP drop-down menu of the geocoding dialog box.

Geocoding by ZIP Code places the customer point at the center point (centroid) of the ZIP Code. If you use this fallback approach, the point locations will be less accurate than geocoding by address, city, and state. When customer points are geocoded, multiple points can be geocoded at one location, because the customer file might contain names of people that share the same address. For example, you may have multiple customer records from a single apartment building.