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Smbnh9 Tracking Success Presentation

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SMBNH Tracking Success Presentation: finding, measuring and analyzing economic data online

SMBNH Tracking Success Presentation: finding, measuring and analyzing economic data online

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  • 1. SMBNH9: Tracking Success
    Finding, measuring & analyzing economic data online
  • 2. Overview
    Company/personal background
    Key economic data
    Easy & free online data sources
    Basic database, trends, growth
    Helpful hints
  • 3. Background
    CEO of e-forecasting.com
    Economic research and consulting firm based in Durham, NH
    Specialize in unique economic data and company demand forecasts
    Clients/industries: manufacturing, hospitality, government, consulting, academic, media
  • 4. Data, data, data …
    With internet and current technology, age of free data is now
    Issue is knowing where to find it, how to update it, accurately analyzing it
  • 5. Important Economic Data
    GDP: measures the value of all goods and services in a country, state, city, industry
    Employment : measures jobs as gains or losses in the market
    Production : measures output and levels of productivity or technological change in industries
    Stocks : measures expectations of future economic activity
  • 6. Easy steps to find data & build simple spreadsheet
    Determine the scope and what data will suit your needs
    Research possible sources and choose most reliable, with high frequency of updates
    Keep solid record of directions, including link, steps to extract data and release schedule if possible
    Organize database in system that works for you
  • 7. Sample file organization
    Directions
    Updates
    Final Data
    Keep detailed instructions, including link and each step to extract data necessary, include release calendar, keep track of unit of measurement, etc.
    Enter data updates here, with actual data from source in left columns, then any calculated columns to the right, use color to show which cells are actual, and which are calculations
    Link cells to updates tab and only show which columns/data you want to look at each month, keep this ‘clean’ meaning only data you want is visible
  • 8. Easy-ish, free online econ data
    Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/
    Inflation, prices, employment, pay, productivity, regional
    BEA – Bureau of Economic Analysis http://www.bea.gov/industry/
    GDP data by industry, state, city, personal income, employment
    Federal Reserve http://www.federalreserve.gov/
    Industrial production, interest rates, exchange rates, quantity of money, consumer credit
    US Census http://www.census.gov/econ/
    Manufacturing, trade (inventories and sales), monthly sales retail and food, wholesale trade, manufacturers shipments, inventories and orders, housing vacancies, construction spending, new home sales, housing starts/building permits, retail trade
    IMF – International Monetary Fund http://www.imf.org/external/index.htm
    Data by country: GDP, consumer prices, producer prices, employment, industrial production, debt, interest rates, share prices, business and consumer confidence, oil prices, exchange rates
    OECD – Organization of Co-Operation and Economic Development http://www.oecd.org
    Data by country: agriculture, fisheries, demography, population, development, projections, education, environment, finance, globalization, prices, welfare statistics
  • 9. Ways to analyze trends
    Track month over month change: m/m
    Track year over year change: y/y
    % change=(new_value/original_value)-1
  • 10. Ways to analyze trends
    Make a simple time series of the data to visualize trends, such as the peaks and troughs of the business cycle
    Long term growth: measures average growth over specified period of time
    Ex. Average GDP of US is 3.3%, can use this as a baseline to make comparisons
  • 11. Watch for seasonality!
    Seasonality in data takes into account trends that happen every year, like gas prices increasing in the summer
    You need to know if data is
    seasonally adjusted or actual, especially when comparing with other data
    Need to compare actual vs actual and seasonal vs seasonal data
    If you don’t have seasonal data, you need to find a way to make it so, can use program to ID seasonal factors
  • 12. Helpful Tips
    Always keep a record of data source, may have to check back, double check values, numbers may be questioned by clients, etc
    Best to re-arrange data into time series format if possible
    Check for updates to previous month, quarter, year, data sources continually make revisions, keep your database up to date
    Run quality tests to make sure data makes sense, even the source can have data wrong, good idea is to make simple graph
    Carefully note measurement, is data measured in hundreds, dollars, percent?
    Don’t get discouraged by first-time set up effort, after initial set up, time to update data will be much less and you will have strong data to back up your research and analysis