Gaining proficiency in GIS can take considerable study and instruction, so this online tutorial is limited in scope. It covers how to geocode a table of addresses into points and generate descriptive statistics about the areas around those points. To understand basic operations such as adding data and creating maps, please see the tutorial Introduction to ArcGIS 10.
Geocoding takes a table of addresses and converts them to actual locations with latitude and longitude. With the geocoding capability of ArcGIS 10, a powerful geographic information system (GIS), you can turn a list of addresses into spatial data for mapping or combining with other data. The output is in the form of points in the shapefile format.
ArcGIS is not the only program for geocoding--Google Fusion Tables are an easier option--but the software does give you more control over the geocoding process and a better understanding of its accuracy.
ArcGIS needs two kinds of files in order to geocode: