IEDC Releases Report on Data Use in Economic Development

Newly Published Report Highlights Best Practices for Using Data in the Internet Age


IEDC recently published “A New Standard: Achieving Data Excellence in Economic Development,” a report produced in collaboration with the Economic Development Research Partners Program, the think tank component of the organization.

The report summarizes new research on the collection, analysis and dissemination of data as related to economic development practices. Researchers conducted surveys of economic developers and data consumers, web scans, and interviews to compile a collection of best practices in data use in the industry. EDOs can use it to better analyze data available to them and present effective data to businesses that consult with them, as well as track the story data tell about communities.

A great deal of the research in the report identifies the changes in data collection and consumption since the publication of the IEDC Data Standards Document in 2002. With the rise of the Internet, data are being created and consumed at increasingly granular levels, and are more easily accessible with the rise of open data initiatives and mobile capabilities. According to the report, EDOs need to seriously consider these changes when providing data to users such as incumbent and potential businesses.

In order to tell an accurate story about a community for purposes of economic development, the report encourages EDOs to ensure their collected and distributed data rises to the new standards. This requires knowledge of all sources, constant collection of new data, and accessible packaging of the data. While consumers can collect data by their own devices today, this paper explores tactics for economic developers to provide the missing link between what users see and an accurate interpretation of what the collected data means.

See the executive summary. The report is available at the IEDC Bookstore online at a cost of $75.00 for non-members and no cost for current members.

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