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Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Analysis Open Access

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Recent advances in information technology provide an unprecedented opportunity to collect, organize, analyze, disseminate, and visualize large volumes of data generated from private and public administrative records. In addition, new statistical methods make possible the creation of microdatabases that allow new ways of studying economic behaviors while, when necessary, fully protecting confidentiality. Further, greater policy emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship, clean tech, and other such building blocks of a 21st century economy is leading to new data collection efforts in these realms. A plethora of innovative data sources and tools are emerging from a variety of sources, spanning federal statistical and mission agencies, commercial firms, universities, and nonprofit research organizations. These data sources have the potential to transform our understanding of the phenomena that provide the basis for economic well-being. Improved understanding should lead to better designed, more effective policies and programs for stimulating economic growth.

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