One of the huge benefits of the information age is the wealth of data available. Delving through that data and discerning its usefulness can be a drag, especially for business owners who want to focus on their products and services, not spreadsheets and numbers. Thankfully, businesses in Thurston County have someone to turn to that will help them wade through the loads of information available to them.
Gene Angel, Research Manager at the Thurston Economic Development Council’s Center for Business and Innovation, can provide research and data analytic services to business owners around the area.
“Data can be powerful and transformative for businesses” Gene says, but those businesses may not know where to look or how to utilize the information available.
Gene can help by looking at the customer base of the area. He will look at the demographics and population cohorts, and then cross reference the data. To put it simply, Gene can make sure the data matches up with the clients expectations of the community’s needs. And he can ensure that clients are honing in on the areas where their customers are located.
Then Gene can produce charts, maps, and reports that explain the data in the way that a client can understand and easily utilize the information. “It’s my job to take the client’s intuition and turn that into an actionable plan through the lens of data,” he explains.
In addition to using data to understand the consumers, Gene can also help businesses use data to understand their workforce. One example Gene gives is a business losing employees at a faster rate than they would expect, or are having trouble finding qualified employees to fill positions. Gene can use some of the databases he has available at the Center for Business and Innovation to do a labor analysis for the business. He can help them navigate the information and understand where they are succeeding, and where they might improve.
With the research and data Gene provides, savvy business owners can pair their experience and understanding of their industry with the statistical information to make informed choices about their business.
Gene offers his first hour of consultation for free, that way clients can get an understanding about what he can offer them. After that, he offers an affordable rate, which business owners will see as a worthwhile investment into the future of their company.
Gene is also excited about the research consortium, a new project in the works. It is a collaborative project on the horizon that will bring together the Center for Business and Innovation, the Thurston EDC and the three higher education institutions in the community: The Evergreen State College, Saint Martin’s University, and South Puget Sound Community College. Details of the collaboration are still being hammered out, but readers should keep an eye out for news in the coming months.
The Center for Business and Innovation is located at 4220 6th Ave SE in Lacey. Call 360-464-6060 to set up and appointment with Gene or take advantage of the Thurston EDC’s other services available to business owners.