We are excited to introduce our new article series, Data for Development. This series will tackle the top location factors as identified by corporate executives and insiders. We’ll compile and visualize the data that can be used to benchmark communities (primarily at the metro level) against each other.
Our goal is to equip economic developers with the awareness, knowledge, and skills to accomplish three things:
- Find the data they need to understand and tell their community’s economic story
- Generate the insights they need to guide economic development decision-making
- Visualize and synthesize these insights so that all stakeholders – economic developers, business executives, site consultants, elected officials, and residents – can work together to support growth
We’ll start with Area Development’s 37th Annual Corporate Survey and 19th Annual Consultant Survey, which ranks 31 location decision factors by importance to corporate executives and site consultants (see Figure 1). This survey provides a great roadmap of the factors that matter most to these decision makers.
Why we're launching this series
- Economic developers love data, especially measuring the competitiveness of their community
- “Data” is abundant but sometimes hard to find, expensive to get, or both
- And getting to actionable insights is even harder given capacity and capabilities limitations
- Public data sources like the Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and many more
- Private data providers like Lightcast and real estate brokers like CBRE who publish helpful reports with their own data and insights
- Industry magazines like Area Development, Site Selection, and Business Facilities that offer perspectives from industry insiders like corporate executives and site consultants
- Public interest organizations like Good Jobs First and Pew Center and newsletters like Boondoggle that advocate for better transparency and improved decision making on incentives
- Thinktanks like Brookings and Upjohn that publish insightful data-driven reports that are often accompanied by publicly available datasets.
What lies ahead
We’ll go topic-by-topic, compiling a variety of data sources, crunching the numbers, and visualizing the results.
We’ll use a mix of Excel and Python as our analytics tools and Tableau to create interactive visualizations interactive.
And, as we dig in, we’d love to hear your perspectives, suggestions on additional ways to measure core concepts, and feedback on what we’re sharing. Please don’t be shy!
About EDai and Located by EDai
EDai helps business leaders and economic developers make better, faster location decisions using advanced analytics. We add value through our self-serve analytics portal, Located by EDai, and tech-enabled consulting.