Key Market Intelligence Resources: An Introduction

By November 23, 2015 All Categories, Blog
With the amount of data generated in the world doubling roughly every two years, how does one make sense of it all? That’s one thing big data analytics sets out to do, and which I think of as the industry complement to the huge concentration of data centers in Loudoun County. Here are a few details about where you can find business and economic data for Loudoun County, and how we use it.

Where can you find information about Loudoun’s economy?

A good place to start is the Loudoun County profile available from the Virginia Employment Commission’s Labor Market Information website. This profile has detailed information about employment characteristics in the county and the names of the largest employers, as well as wages and the cost of living. This profile also has details about demographics and residents’ level of education. It shows how Loudoun has a concentration of highly skilled and highly educated workers. The VEC also maintains community profiles in Virginia at the city and county level, as well as at the level of Metropolitan Statistical Areas and other areas defined at the regional level.

If you’re looking for information about a specific Loudoun employer, I would recommend using ReferenceUSA, which is an online database available for free from the Loudoun County Public Library and by subscription.

What are some of the most important economic statistics about Loudoun’s economy?

The first thing that comes to mind is the low unemployment rate, which has been between 3 and 4 percent over the past year, combined with the fact that Loudoun County is consistently among the highest-earning counties in the United States ranked by median household income.

Statistics that provide specific information about Loudoun’s economic competitiveness can be found in the county’s employment data, which you can look at by industry clusters. Clusters are a network of firms, whose interrelated activities support each other. The presence of clusters in any community is a key driver of productivity and innovation. The Information and Communications Technology cluster is extremely strong in Loudoun County. In the early days of the Internet, this cluster got a huge boost thanks to the location of key infrastructure and the significant concentration of Internet fiber that continues to help attract major investments from I.T.-related businesses, including data centers.

Cluster development is a key economic development strategy for Loudoun County. Industry clusters whose current and forecasted employment demonstrate a high potential for growth and complement Loudoun County’s assets, are the county’s strongest clusters. Consequently, the county has invested resources to continue growth in these specific clusters:

  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture and related businesses
  • Aviation and transportation
  • Data centers
  • Federal government contracting
  • Health information and analytics
  • Information and communications technology

How does Loudoun County’s Department of Economic Development organize and make use of data for cluster development?

Salesforce is probably the best way for economic development organizations to bring together and maintain the data most relevant for their productive activities. The business development team has used the Salesforce Customer Relationship Management platform for many years to track its work with prospects, and as a shared, searchable database of contacts and organizations that are relevant to the work. Salesforce is highly customizable and makes it easy to classify organizations according to business clusters, which provides us a means of tracking our progress in building targeted clusters. We recently expanded use of Salesforce to almost all staff, with marketing, research, and business development functions of the department all coordinated through this central data-sharing platform. At an organizational level, Salesforce is our key market intelligence resource, and it becomes ever more effective as staff becomes more experienced with entering, organizing and mining data to use with all our economic development work.

What’s the easiest way for busy executives to get the data you need to decide whether Loudoun is the best place to locate or expand your business?

The best way is to contact our Business Development Officer, Rick Morris. He’ll quickly connect you to our subject-matter expert on your business cluster who’ll make sure you have all the relevant data you need. You can also find useful information – including a database of Loudoun’s available land and buildings – at biz.loudoun.gov.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.