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Detroit chamber launches online data dashboard

March 31, 2019

Crain’s Detroit Business

Dustin Walsh

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The Detroit Regional Data Center, created by Austin, Texas-based Headlight Data, provides economic, workforce, education and demographic data for the 11-county region — Wayne, Macomb, Oakland, Lapeer, Livingston, St. Clair, Genesee, Monroe, Washtenaw, Lenawee and Shiawassee. The website is designed to be used by economic development officials, businesses and the general public to access continuously updated economic indicators.

“We wanted to bring our business community a tool they can use on a daily basis to make more informed decisions on their business and community efforts,” said Angela Ladetto, director of business research for the chamber. “While there’s no forecasting in it, it provides a good snapshot on segments of our economy and demographics that can help make their work easier.”

Ladetto also stressed that the updated industry and employment data is useful to students and job seekers looking to identify which industries and occupations are growing as well as for site selectors and grant writers.

The tool tracks anything from employment by county to average salary by industry to housing permits. The data is automatically updated as government institutions and research firms release findings, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Brookings Institution, etc.

The Detroit Regional Partnership, the regional economic development collaborative that spun out of the Detroit Regional Chamber earlier this year, is funding 20 percent of the tool, chamber CEO Sandy Baruah said. Detroit will be the largest region in the country to have a portal like this available.

“Anyone with an economic development role is using data quite a bit,” Baruah said. “This is partly public service, partly as we view ourselves of the keepers of regional data.”

To view the data, visit detroitdatacenter.org.

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