Innovative Data Sources for Regional Economic Analysis

Conference: May 7-8, 2012, George Washington University
The Marvin Center, Grand Ballroom
800 21st Street, NW
Washington, DC

Context: Recent technological and methodological advances greatly increase capacities to collect and analyze large volumes of data; widely disseminate these data; and display the results in informative, engaging ways. The data efforts emerging from these advances have the potential to transform understanding of regional economic dynamics and the design and implementation of policies that support competitiveness.

Purpose: The conference’s primary aim is to raise the awareness of economic policymakers, practitioners, and researchers about innovative private and public data sources and tools useful for regional economic development analysis and policy. Its second aim is to offer data-providing organizations the opportunity to interact with and get feedback from users.

Time and Cost: The conference will take place on May 7th and 8th from 9:00 AM-4:30 PM each day. The cost of attendance is $0 (zero).

Hosts and Organizers: GW’s George Washington Institute of Public Policy is hosting the conference in cooperation with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Department of Public Policy.  GWIPP Research Professor Andrew Reamer and UNC Professor Maryann Feldman are the co-organizers. Funding is provided by the E.M. Kauffman Foundation.

Sponsors: Initial conference funding was provided by the E.M. Kauffman Foundation. Additional sponsors include the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Lumina Foundation, and the Council for Community and Economic Research.

Innovative Data Sources: A regularly updated list of innovative data efforts, organized by topic, is provided on this companion webpage.


Conference GuideForty-five federal, commercial, and academic organizations are presenting on 51 innovative data sources.  A profile of each data sources is provided in the conference guide.

Participants include federal economic policymakers and program managers, state and local practitioners and analysts, academic and think tank researchers, trade and professional associations, and federal statistical agency staff.  Two hundred and sixty people have registered.

Format: The conference will be held in a “data fair” format in the 3,900 square-foot (Wi-Fi-enabled) Grand Ballroom in GW’s Marvin Center (800 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC).

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