This page describes how to create a new report from an ArcGIS feature layer.

Step 1 – Create a report and choose a feature layer

On the Report Builder home page, click the arrow to the right of the New Report button. Then click the from Feature Layer option.

The Choose feature layer window will open. This will list web maps according to the option selected at the top of the window. For this tutorial, click the All option and type ‘BRFSS US States Demo Data’ into the search box.

Choose feature layer window

Click on the ‘US_States_Data’ feature layer to select it and click the Choose button.

Step 2 – Choose ID/name fields

You should now tell Report Builder which fields in the layer contain the IDs and the names for the states. In the Feature ID field box choose the ‘ST_FIPS’ field and in the Feature name field box choose the ‘STATE_NAME’ field. Then click the Choose button.

Choose feature layer fields

The report will be created in your ArcGIS Online organisation and you will be presented with the Report Builder editor page.

Report builder editor screen

Step 3 – Add a Text widget to your report

You are now ready to add a widget to the blank report, which is shown in the middle of the page. We will start by adding a title at the top of the report. In the Widgets menu to the left of the report, click the Text heading to expand this group of widgets. Click on the Text widget and drag it onto the report.

Add text widget to web map report


The text widget will appear at the top of the report and will be populated with example text. The widget is selected, meaning that it is highlighted with a dotted border and the widget toolbar is displayed in the top left corner. Click the Edit text & rules button in widget toolbar (first on the left). The text editor toolbar will appear. The example text should selected by default (blue) but if not, press Ctrl+A on your keyboard to select the text. Press the Delete key on your keyboard to delete the text.

Now type ‘Demo report for ‘ and then click the Insert feature value button (second row, forth from the left) in the text editor toolbar that displays above the widget. Click the Feature Names(s) option. This will insert a substitution variable that will show the name of the active feature for the report.

Insert Feature Name into text widget

Then click the Save changes button in the text editor toolbar (top row, second from the right). Your report should now look like this.

Report with edited text widget

You can see that the name of the first state is displayed. If you wish, you can switch the active feature by clicking the View option. This can be found near the bottom of the Report Builder main menu on the far left. You will see that the feature name in the text widget will change. Click the view option to display the list of features in the base layer of the report, in this case the states in the USA. If you click to select a different state, you will see that the title of the report automatically updates.

To make the text look more like a title, click on the text widget in the report to select it and click the Edit text & rules button once again. Select the text by pressing Ctrl+A on your keyboard. Click the Blocks button (top row, sixth from the right) in the text editor toolbar and click Heading 1. Then click the Save changes button in the toolbar.

Editing text block

The text widget will automatically resize to show the text. Your report should now look like this.

Text edited as a heading

Step 4 – Save your report

At this point it is a good idea to save your changes to the report. Click the Save button at the very top of the editor screen, to the right of the report name. This button displays a purple dot if the report has unsaved changes and this dot will disappear once you click the button. When building a report, it is good practice to click the Save button at frequent intervals to minimize the chance of losing your work if, for example, a network issue occurs.

Step 5 – Add a Data Table widget to your report

You can now add further widgets to your report to display data about the states. If the Widgets menu is no longer displayed, click Widgets in the Report Builder main menu on the far left. Click the Tables heading to expand this group of widgets. Drag a Data Table widget onto the page below the text widget. By default, the table will show the active feature in a row and a random selection of fields from the report’s base layer in the columns.

Feature layer report with table added

The Data & Settings panel to the right of the report displays the data and settings for the widget selected in the report, in this case the data table. Click the Data tab. This will display a single data source – the layer you selected when you created the report (US_States_Data). Click the data source to view the attribute fields. Click the Select no indicators button at the top of the Data tab (second button from the left) to deselect all fields. Then click the checkboxes for ‘1990_POP’, ‘2000_POP’ and ‘2010_POP’ and click Apply. These fields contain the population figures for 1990, 2000 and 2010. You will see the table update so that it now only shows three columns.

Data selection for table in feature layer report

Click the Set indicator aliases for this widget button at the top of the tab (second button from the right). The Set indicator aliases and order window will open. Type in a friendly name for each of the indicators, such as ‘1990 population’, ‘2000 population’ and ‘2010 population’. Then click the Save button. Click the Apply button at the bottom of the Data & Settings panel.

Feature layer report table aliases

You will see the indicator names update in the table column headers.

Feature layer report configured table

Step 6 – Add a Bar Chart widget to your report

Drag a Bar Chart widget onto the page just below the data table widget.

In the Data & Settings panel, click the Data tab and edit the selection so that only one checkbox is selected for ‘2010_CHG’. This field contains figures on the percentage change in population from 2000 to 2010.

Then click the Settings tab. If the Advanced button at the top of the tab (first button on the left) does not have a purple dot, click the button – this will ensure that advanced as well as basic settings are displayed in the panel.

Click the Behavior heading to expand this settings group, locate the Include all areas setting and turn this on. Click the Series heading, locate the Type setting and tick the indicators-as-series checkbox. Click the Bars heading, locate the Sort bars by value setting and tick the ascending checkbox. Click the Axes heading, locate the Allow label word wrap setting and turn it off. Click the Colors & Highlights heading, locate the Highlight selected feature setting and turn it on. Click the Legend heading, locate the Show legend setting and turn this off. Click the Text & Labels heading, locate the Title setting and type in ‘Population change from 2000 to 2010’. Then click the Apply button.

Feature layer report with configured bar chart

This is a good example of editing widget settings in combination to generate a completely different chart from the one you started with. Now save the report.

Step 7 – Preview your report

To preview your report, click the Preview button at the very top of the Report Builder editor screen, next to the report name. A new browser tab or window will open that displays the report as an end-user would view it.

Feature layer report preview

You can change feature by clicking the Index button (globe) in the toolbar at the top of the report and selecting a different feature from the report index page.

Report index page

Step 8 – Share your report

To share your report (if you wish to) you should return to the editor screen and click Report in the Report Builder main menu on the far left. In the Report menu, click Embed & share. By default a report can only be viewed and edited by the owner. To change this, click the link to the item page. In ArcGIS Online, you can use the Share button on the item details page to share the report with your organization, everyone, or set specific group sharing. Note that if you would like end-users to be able to view the report without having to sign in to ArcGIS Online, you will need to share the report with everyone.

Report sharing link

Next steps

Try adding further widgets to the report and changing the data selections and settings. You can also change the report styling or pages options by clicking Styling or Pages in the Report Builder main menu. When you have finished, click Report in the main menu and click Exit editor to return to the home page.

You may want to create a new report using a different feature layer. If a feature layer with the geography or data that you wish to show in your report does not already exist, you will need to create this first using the standard tools available in ArcGIS.

Tip: remember that the layer you choose should have a useful set of attribute fields, ideally with friendly names so that you know what data they contain.