EMSI CASE STUDY (Full Archive)
Access to reliable, easy-to-grasp labor market data leads to stronger decisions by local economic developers and communities. That’s one of the core tenets of the Center for International Business and Economic Development (CIBED) at Troy University in Alabama.
With Analyst, EMSI’s data research tool, CIBED spreads integral labor market information to practitioners throughout Alabama more efficiently and with less fuss than it could before.
“EMSI really makes certain analyses very easy and very quick because we don’t have to go through 50 different sources to do them,” says CIBED Interim Director Courtney Taylor.
“We highlight the immediacy of the data. We can turn a request for information around in as little as a few minutes in most cases.”
Taylor and her staff regularly field requests from local economic development organizations and communities in Alabama that are looking for answers to specific workforce- and demographic-related questions. Supplying key data and solutions to these stakeholders is the “bread and butter” of CIBED, Taylor says, and EMSI helps the center get quality data in the hands of decision-makers.
“EMSI really makes certain analyses very easy and very quick because we don’t have to go through 50 different sources to do them.” — Courtney Taylor, Interim Director, Center for International Business and Economic Development
Taylor says the community and economic developers she works with often need to see the data for their area’s economic base and major industry drivers in a simple, no-nonsense document with just the numbers. So sometimes she provides them with just the “cold, hard facts,” as she puts it, using EMSI’s county-level or ZIP code data. Others need more detailed analysis of the data, and the center provides that, too.
EMSI data has also served CIBED well when working with faculty and staff inside Troy University’s Sorrell College of Business, where the center is housed, or among other colleges. Last fall, a College of Education staff member called Taylor and wondered about the labor market demand for a specific program. Using Analyst, Taylor almost immediately pulled up the workforce and educational information tied to that program and gave her colleague the answer she needed before their phone conversation ended.
“It caught me off guard because her response was, ‘You got that information that fast?’ Taylor recalls. “And I said, ‘Yes, ma’am. Just like that.’ She said, ‘Wow.’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I told you.’ ”
More than helping to quickly fulfill requests for information and giving a more complete picture of the Alabama economy, EMSI’s Analyst has helped CIBED better use its resources. During a time of budget cuts, that’s a valuable sell.
“Because we have EMSI, we can be lean and responsive,” Taylor says. “It’s really allowing us to use our human capital in other places. We don’t need 10 researchers on staff to look this stuff up. … You talk about cost-cutting and being lean and saving costs from a university perspective, it really helps us build our case.”
Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. (EMSI) provides industry-leading employment data and economic analysis via web tools and custom reports. EMSI has produced more than 1,200 comprehensive impact analyses for colleges and universities in the US and internationally, and its web tools — Analyst and Career Coach — are used by thousands of professionals in higher education, workforce and economic development, and the private sector. For more information, visit economicmodeling.com.