Essential Business Analyst Vocabulary - Terms



Base profile

A profile that summarizes a geographic area by Tapestry segments and is used in segmentation reports, maps, and charts. The base profile is used to calculate the index in many reports and charts. In most cases, the base profile you select should be the geographic area from where you draw close to 100 percent of your customers.

Block apportionment

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

Business Analyst data source (BDS)

A custom ArcGIS feature class that allows you to work with and aggregate data in Business Analyst. Only Business Analyst can read BDS layers.


Calculation of how a store's trade area impedes or overlaps another. The cannibalized area is often an area of inefficiency and market saturation or can be considered an opportunity for cross-marketing.


Your business patrons or those who shop at your stores. In Preferences, you can substitute store terms for an industry-specific term, such as Customers = Patients. In this example, you can use Business Analyst to better understand the relationship of which patients frequent which hospital.

Distance decay

The distance impact of your customer distribution using rings or drive-time trade areas around a store. Shown as a percentage.

Drive time

The estimated geographic area, or trade area, in which you can drive to a store location. A 5-minute drive-time trade area means that customers from all locations within the outer boundary can reach your store, by car, within a 5-minute drive.


Trade area techniques and spatial interaction models, included in Business Analyst, developed by Dr. David Huff.


A region of economic activity around a store that defines your customer base. Markets in Business Analyst are often designated by geographic locations and the households or population within those areas.

Market penetration

Calculation of how well you are penetrating a market by comparing your customer locations or sales per customer within a given area to a base variable such as the population.

My Output Data

The folder location where all Business Analyst work is saved. This location can be customized in Preferences.

Principal components analysis (PCA)

A complex algorithm used in some Business Analyst tools that finds correlated variables and ranks the output with a score.


The location for all Business Analyst work saved in a standard structure. All layers—stores, trade areas, analyses, and so on—are copied to your project structure and saved in the Business Analyst repository. This makes it easy to retrieve and share your work. Every new project created contains the same folder structure.


Often your business locations. In Preferences, you can substitute store terms for an industry-specific term such as Stores = Hospitals.

Store setup/Customer setup

The process of adding your franchise and customer location data to the map. When address information is provided, store and customer setup will geocode the data. The store and customer setup process also allows you to link stores to customers using assignments by unique ID, by trade area, or by closest location. When layers are converted to stores and customers, they are available in the Business Analyst repository.

Study area

Defines a location where your analysis will be limited. For example, setting a study area allows you to limit hot spots to a specified region or extract businesses into a set location.

Target profile

A profile that summarizes a customer list or geographic area by Tapestry segments and is used in segmentation reports, maps, and charts. The target profile is used to calculate Percent Composition on many of these reports and charts.

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. Trade areas are often called catchment areas. A drive time in Business Analyst is a service area in the Network Analyst extension.


An attribute or field used in demographic analysis.