With a wide range of new and expanded products and services slated for the first half of 2014, EMSI is ready to expand what our data can do for you. To whet your appetite, here’s a sneak preview of the things we have planned for 2014. Keep an eye on the blog; we’ll be posting in-depth looks at many of these updates over the next few weeks.
New and Updated Products
The most important — and exciting — thing EMSI is working on for this year is a thorough interface update for Analyst. Previously, working in Analyst began by finding a large amount of data, and then sorting through it for the answers you needed. Now Analyst begins with the kind of report you need, and presents data relevant to that set of questions — no more sifting through a wall of facts. It also incorporates the “legacy” reports that some of our most advanced users value, and makes adjusting data settings more intuitive.
Over its previous iterations, EMSI’s flagship Analyst tool has developed into a one-of-a-kind resource for accessing labor market information. Making that information as thorough as possible but also easy to access is an ongoing task. That’s why Analyst’s newest version is designed to focus on the data each user finds most relevant while not losing the ability to see a broader context. We’ll be sharing much, much more about this as we get closer to releasing the new interface.
Analyst isn’t the only EMSI tool that will see significant interface upgrades in 2014. Our hard-working Career Coach team spent 2013 gathering user feedback about how the tool works. Based on those results, they’re developing a new, more intuitive interface, designed to clearly guide users through the tool’s possibilities. While Career Coach already offers an easy way for students to discover the real power of obtaining a degree, we’re enhancing it to show prospective students — and the rest of the world — a wider range of data-informed options for their futures. We expect the new Career Coach to make a splash. Expect to see updates and target release dates soon.
One of EMSI’s core beliefs is that while labor market information is a powerful tool, it’s only as strong as the person using it. That’s why we’ve developed our EMSI Certification program. Over a series of teaching modules, we’ll explain what our data is, where it comes from, what its strengths are, and how it can be used to answer crucial real-world questions. See here for more information about certification.
Job Postings Data
We frequently hear from clients who are curious about how EMSI data relates to “real-time” labor market information. While we’re still big believers in the importance of traditional labor market data – you can see more about this discussion here and here – the value of job posting data is simply too great to ignore. That’s why our data and development teams have been working on integrating a new proprietary dataset of job postings into Analyst. Adding job postings data will give Analyst users a more rounded perspective on the labor markets they work in by showing them, on a month-by-month basis, real jobs available in the industry or occupation they’re studying. Look for more about this on the blog soon.
As we’ve discussed on the blog from time to time (here and here, for example,) trying to factor job churn into our understanding of how well a specific occupation is performing is a complex but important issue. In short, we need to figure out not only how many people join or leave an occupation, but also get a sense of how many workers left one job only to get another in the same occupation. In 2014, we will be integrating data on job churn into Analyst, to give users perspective on this important aspect of the labor market.
Workforce Demographic Data by Race/Ethnicity
We’re also expanding the range of workforce demographic data available in Analyst by incorporating race and ethnicity data for industries and occupations. We already provide our jobs data by age and gender, and this will increase the angles from which users can approach data.
New and Updated Services
While many of our updates are centered on our web tools, EMSI’s professional services division is also working on a number of new and upgraded products and services. The economic impact study put EMSI on the map in our very earliest days, and our team of economists and consultants has continued to fine-tune and improve the world-class methodology it uses. We’ve also developed two specialized reports to answer more specific questions about institutional effectiveness: the gap analysis report and the program analysis report.
While the traditional impact study considers the entirety of an institution’s relationship with its economic environment, the gap analysis report offers a focused look at the specific labor needs of the economy. It gives a data-based answer to the question of whether the region’s key industries are being under- or over-supplied with workers, enabling institutions to zoom in on how they can maximize their importance to their region, and how they can make the best use of the resources available to them.
In related news, EMSI’s professional services team is also developing a new program analysis report. Where the gap analysis report evaluates the school’s program offerings as a whole, the program analysis report focuses even more specifically on a single program. Serving as either an independent study or as an adjunct to a broader report, Program Analysis combines program data with occupation-specific earnings and trend data to create a powerful, easy-to-understand report that proves the real value of a program.
After its rousing success in 2013, we’ve already begun planning the fourth annual EMSI Conference. As usual, the conference will feature numerous talks from EMSI’s users, highlighting the inventive ways in which they have used data to make a difference for students, schools, and economies (you can see the talks from 2013 here.). It also features one-on-one training sessions with EMSI’s famously helpful customer service reps.
For the first time, however, we’re holding our user conference outside of the Pacific Northwest. Instead, we’ll be bringing the conference to a more central location in the U.S. (TBD) so that more of our clients can participate.
In addition to the user conference, we’re also announcing that this October, for the first time, we will host a smaller executive-oriented conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. This high-level event will be designed to improve communication between EMSI and presidents, executives, and other institutional leaders. We’ll be releasing exact dates and registration info for both the user and executive conferences as those details are confirmed.
And, of course, we couldn’t talk about EMSI’s plans for 2014 without mentioning our beautiful new building. Located in the heart of downtown Moscow, Idaho, EMSI’s new offices are in a heritage building nearly a century old. We’ve spent most of the last year renovating and restoring it into a beautiful, modern space filled with nods to its past. Our new offices are a commitment to a future with our clients; with room to grow, we expect to continue expanding and developing for years to come. Come see us some time! We’d love to show you what we do.
All in all, 2014 looks ready to be an enormous year for EMSI and its users. We’re excited about the new ways that we’re going to be able to help you put data to work.