Business District Data

Tableau is a powerful online data system used by the City for tracking business district data. Thanks to a partnership between Venture Portland and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, this tool is available to the public for the first time. Tableau has many uses but to get you started, we have included instructions for accessing the data most commonly used by businesses and business districts.

The Tableau system can be accessed at

How do I find…


The number of businesses in my district?

This data is useful in grant applications, to set membership campaign targets, assess how complete business district contact lists are and what percentage of businesses in the district are members.

  1. Click the “Employment” tab
  2. Under “Industry Group” select “Total”
  3. Select the year (any year between 2002-2016)
  4. Click on your district
  5. The number of businesses is listed under “Total Firms”


How the business mix in my district is changing?

The business mix of your district should guide your benefits and help you target sectors in your membership campaign, outreach and relationship development.

  1. Click the “Employment Table” tab
  2. Select the Year 2016 (most recent)
  3. Under “Business District” tab select your district
  4. To Download, go the gray bar below the chart and click on this symbol:
  5. Select “Image” and select “Download. This will generate a .png file.
  6. Change the year to 2008 (comparison to pre-recession)
  7. Repeat steps 3-5
  8. Compare the two numbers to see how the business mix has changed and which sectors are growing, shrinking or holding steady


The spending power of customers?

Knowing spending power is essential in developing business plans, securing loans, and knowing what your customers can afford. Spending power comes from primarily two sources: residents and employees who work in the district. People typically spend 25% of their disposable income within ¼ mile of where they work.


  1. Click the “Demographics: Age, Income, and Growth” tab
  2. Under “Variable” select “Median Household Income”
  3. Select the year (2017 is the only year currently available)
  4. Click on your district


  1. Click the “Employment Table” tab (far right)
  2. Under “Year” select 2016 (most recent currently available)
  3. Select your district. You will see average pay for both each sector of the business mix and the district overall.
  4. If you want to see how this has changed over time, change the “Year” slider. It’s best to compare similar points in the economic cycle (i.e. peak to peak).

Many other factors affect spending: the percentage of income that is discretionary (not housing, medical care, college tuition, etc.), family size, feelings of job security, economic optimism, etc. Businesses that attract customers from outside the district will need to gather more detailed information.


The racial diversity of residents in my district, and how it is changing?

Knowing the racial makeup of your district helps you and your members match your events, promotions and marketing to local customers and anticipate future change.

  1. Click the “Demographics: Race (Whole Numbers)” tab
  2. Under “Variable” select the race or ethnicity you are looking for
  3. Select the year (2010 and 2017 are the only years currently available; selecting “2010-17” will result in an error)
  4. Click on your district
  5. Note: To see the increase/decrease of a certain race or ethnicity between 2010 and 2017, select “Change in…” under “Variable”. Make sure “2010-17” is the year selected (selecting only 2010 or 2017 will result in an error)


The average commercial lease rate in my district?

Knowledge of lease rates in your district and nearby districts are helpful in lease negotiations and in developing a business plan for a future space. 

  1. Click on the “Commercial Space” tab
  2. Under “Use” select “Industrial”, “Office” or “Retail”
  3. Under “Variable” select “Lease Rate”
  4. Select the year (any year between 2006-2017)
  5. Click on your district
  6. The lease rate ($ per square foot) is listed under “Total”


Need help? Call or email us (503.477.9648, to set up an appointment for a in depth tutorial.