Data Excellence in Economic Development
Data has been and always will be a key driver in site selection decision-making. In light of technological advancements and enhanced access to collecting and tracking metrics, EDOs and other location professionals need a way to easily format and read this data.
With this in mind, the International Economic Development Council (IEDC), in collaboration with other industry partners, has released a new research report, A New Standard: Achieving Data Excellence in Economic Development. I was pleased to chair the committee and help guide this meaningful project.
This data standards research and report stemmed from the frustration many economic development and site selection professionals face due to the lack of standardization of data. The report is intended to help economic developers to become trusted providers of this data using new sources of data and analytics tools.
In the report, utilities are cited as an excellent external source of information for economic development, not only by providing rates and services information, but also for other intelligence about real estate and business conditions.
The 80-page report, which is available for purchase on the IEDC website, explains how developers can use new tools and sources to present quality data.
In the past, economic development data came in a wide variety of facts and figures that made it difficult to compare sites. For instance, the high school completion rate is not the same as the dropout rate—and so it is important to be accurate and compare like-to-like when showing data.
Topics covered in the report include using, collecting, presenting, analyzing, and managing data in a new standard for data usage.