Small Business Labs

Using Digital Data For Economic Analysis

Small Business Labs

One of the biggest shifts going on in economics is the growing use of digital data for research. The Internet and cloud computing platforms are generating large amounts  of digital data on pretty much all areas of business and economics. In fact, the amount data is growing much faster than our ability to analyze and use it. In our work we've seen a clear shift to using digital data and away from our traditional sources - surveys and government produced data.

2015 142

Using Satellite Imagery for Investment Analysis

Small Business Labs

But they've expanded their product line to include investment analysis.    According to their analysis traffic fell in both August and September, so October showed a positive turn around (and yes, the pun was intentional if not good).  DigitalGlobe is a fascinating company.    According to their website: DigitalGlobe owns and operates the most agile and sophisticated constellation of high-resolution commercial earth imaging satellites.

2011 127
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Which Colleges Will Survive the Coronavirus

Small Business Labs

   Galloway backs up his chart with a detailed analysis of the 438 US universities and colleges ranked by US News & World Report's top National University and National College rankings.

2020 246

Wunderman Thompson's 2021 Future 100 Trends Report

Small Business Labs

Each includes  an original   analysis of why it matters for the organizations whose products and services we use daily. The 2021 edition of the annual Wunderman Thompson Future 100 report was released last year.    It's one of our favorite trend reports. 

2021 220

Professional Services Business Applications from Freelancers Continued their 2020 Surge in January.

Small Business Labs

This data comes from Independent Workers Lead Recent Surge in Professional Service Business Applications , a research brief from MBO Partners that is based on an analysis of U.S. In 2020 professional services applications from independent workers (freelancers, independent contractors, etc.)

2020 169

The Census Bureau's Small Business Pulse Survey is Back and Shows the Pandemic is Still Taking A Toll on SMBs

Small Business Labs

  The Census even provides some simply analysis and visualization tools so you can play with data and/or track it over time. The U.S. Census started a COVID-19 impact survey back in April to measure how the pandemic was impacting small businesses. 

2020 186

U.S. Census Pulse Survey Shows Small Businesses Still Struggling

Small Business Labs

The U.S. Census Small Business Pulse Survey for the week of June 14th to June 20th shows small businesses continue to struggle.      43% of the small businesses surveyed reported a decrease in revenue from the prior week while only 21% reported an increase.

2020 154

Small Business Closure Scenarios

Small Business Labs

Based on an industry by industry analysis (1), our base case estimate is 21% of U.S.    Notes: (1) Our analysis looked at industry level historical closure rates (see the U.S. employer small businesses will close in 2020 (2) (3).    This is about 1.2

2020 170

Deloitte on the Future of Work

Small Business Labs

Deloitte has become, in our opinion, one of the key go-to sources of information and analysis on the future of work. Their recent article Redefining work, workforces, and workplaces is a good example. In a relatively short article, it nicely synthesizes and explains "multiple converging trends and how they are already fundamentally changing all aspects of work."

2019 195

TechCrunch's 5 Startup Trends for the 2020s

Small Business Labs

While enterprise data infrastructure has improved at least the management of these databases, it’s still amazing how little data enriches our decisions, offers new avenues for analysis, and quite frankly, just makes our lives better on a day-to-day basis.   And because of this experience, we agree much more needs to be done to make the analysis of big data truly useful.  

2020 140

How Many Employees Will Small Business Layoff?

Small Business Labs

Based on an industry by industry analysis of small business employment, our base case estimate is employer small businesses will layoff about 21 million employees through July (1).

2020 154

Purpose and a Paycheck and the New Retirement

Small Business Labs

The book also contains an analysis of the economic impact of an aging society as well as policy suggestions on how to deal with ageism and other age related issues. Purpose and a Paycheck is a new book from Chris Farrell, a leading expert on retirement and workforce issues facing people over the age of 50. 

Barclay's 150 Trends for Investors to Watch

Small Business Labs

  But we still think it's a useful and excellent trend analysis piece and if you're interested in trends this report is well worth reviewing. 

2020 138

Renewable Energy to Pass Coal for U.S. Electricity Generation in 2021

Small Business Labs

According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) , renewable energy sources will pass coal in terms of U.S. electricity generation in 2021. As their chart below shows, each of the sources will produce around 800 billion kilowatts of electricity in 2021.

2019 138

Study Says Over Half of Older Workers Suffer Involuntary Job Loss

Small Business Labs

Key quote on those who experienced involuntary job loss: "Only one in 10 of these workers ever again earns as much as they did before their employment setbacks, our analysis showed. ProPublica's If You’re Over 50, Chances Are the Decision to Leave a Job Won’t be Yours covers a fascinating study looking at the job paths of workers aged 50 or older. The study used data from the University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study.

2019 170

Most Millennials Think Starting a Business is Risky

Small Business Labs

  We're in the data analysis phase of a new study looking in more detail at how Americans view the risk associated with starting a business.  According to a report from the global financial giant UBS , 72% of Millennials say starting a business appeals to them. But at the same time, most say it's too risky to do. The chart below, which is from the same UBS report, shows most Millennials see starting a business as riskier than older cohorts do.

2018 163

Co-Living Startups Continue to Attract Funding

Small Business Labs

According to Crunchbase , an "analysis of residential-focused real estate startups uncovered a raft of companies with a shared and temporary housing focus that have raised funding in the past year or so." " The Crunchbase chart below shows startups some of the startups who've recently raised capital. The article points out that most of these startups are selling community in addition to housing. Key quote: " today’s shared housing startups are selling another vision.

2018 159

The Digitialization of Jobs

Small Business Labs

  The report: " presents a detailed analysis of changes in the digital content of 545 occupations covering 90 percent of the U.S. The analysis categorizes U.S. Brookings recently released an interesting study on Digitalization and the American workforce.  workforce in all industries since 2001. occupations into jobs that require high, medium or low digital skills and tracks the impacts of rapid change." " The study findings show the U.S.

2017 150

The Top 15 Cities for Specialized Freelancers

Small Business Labs

Census non-employer business dataset for this analysis.  So it was a good choice for the analysis done in this study. Fiverr's Understanding the Impact of the Freelance Economy study focuses on what they call "specialized freelancers" These are independent workers who provide professional, technical, or creative services.    As the report chart below shows, there are about 2.5 million "specialized freelancers" in the U.S. 

2018 150

McKinsey's Bias Busters Collection

Small Business Labs

" They say this is important because if you do the analysis based only on in-house data, you're likely going to miss important information that can be learned from other, similar projects. McKinsey's Bias Busters Collection covers how are decisions are often affected by cognitive and/or organizational biases. 

2019 131

Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill Likely Bad for the Independent Workerforce

Small Business Labs

The quick summary of our analysis of the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill on independent workers is: Low and moderate income independent workers would likely be worse off due to the reductions in medicaid and elimination of subsidies provided by the ACA (Obamacare). Normally the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) does an analysis of the impact of new bills.   The Kaiser Family Foundation's analysis shows the impacts of the bill on a state by state basis.

2017 136

Global Interest in Coworking Booming

Small Business Labs

According to analysis by Deskmag, global interest in coworking is booming and at all time highs. The annual Global Coworking Unconference Conference  (GCUC) is this week in Berkeley, California. And it's good times for this industry. Key quote on from their article on their study of Google Trends data related to the search term "coworking": The worldwide searches for the term “coworking” on Google have reached their current peak this March.

2015 201

Intuit Future of Small Business Report

Small Business Labs

Technological advances such as machine learning are taking the complexity out of data analysis, providing small businesses with the ability to make faster, better decisions.  Last week Intuit released the Slideshare presentation  The Future of Small Business. It covers 5 broad trends that are driving the growth of the small business sector of the economy.

2016 175

The Strong Job Market's Impact on Self-Employment

Small Business Labs

  We'll have more on this topic once we finish the analysis of the data from the 2018 MBO Partners State of Independence study. The U.S. unemployment rate fell under 4% for the first time since 2000, continuing a steady decline that started in 2010. Despite the strong traditional job market, according to the BLS self-employment has increased slightly over the prior year and is also up from 2010. 

2018 146

Brookings 2019 Trends to Watch

Small Business Labs

And one trend and related analysis really jumped out at us.  The Brookings Institute is a large and influential DC public policy think tank. They recently released a report with their 2019 Trends to Watch. The report is targeted at government policy makers and lists the issues Brookings experts "expect will shape the world this year and the solutions to address them."

2019 127

MBO Partners’ 8th Annual State of Independence Report

Small Business Labs

These are independent workers who would prefer a traditional job (cluster analysis is used to identify this group). MBO Partners released their 2018 State of Independence report this week. This is the 8th annual report in this series, making it the longest running look at independent work. Emergent Research (that's us) contributes to this study.

2018 136

Study: Uber Drivers on Average Earn $11.77 Per Hour

Small Business Labs

  The study -  Uber and the Labor Market  - is based on a detailed analysis of driver income and expenses.  Our analysis showed average earnings after expenses of $12-$14 dollars per hour.  T he Economic Policy Institute (EPI) , a DC non-profit think tank, recently released a study showing the average Uber driver earns $11.77 per hour after expenses. 

2018 133

The Rise of Smart Farms

Small Business Labs

Plant Data/Analysis : systems that help farmers understand plant composition (microbial makeup, genetic expression, etc.) Tech startups are increasingly targeting agriculture. This is leading to a range of new companies and technologies focused on improving farm efficiencies and creating smarter farms. CB Insights The Ag Tech Market Map: 100+ Startups Powering The Future Of Farming And Agribusiness  covers the companies creating the future of farming.

2017 143

Quantum Computing Getting Closer

Small Business Labs

The good news is quantum computing would greatly improve many things, including weather forecasting, financial analysis, logistical planning, drug discovery and curing disease.  Intel recently announced they've developed a quantum computer chip. There's also been a number of other recent quantum computing breakthroughs and companies like Google, IBM, Microsoft and others are investing heavily in the space. So are the Chinese.

2018 140

After a Decade of Strong Growth, Craft Brewing Industry Shows Signs of Slowing

Small Business Labs

Their analysis shows an estimated 75% of the US drinking age population resides within 10 miles of a brewery. In 2016, a new craft or micro brewery opened in the US on average every 11 hours. Pretty amazing. Also, the roughly 5,300 U.S. craft and micro breweries produced 24.6 million barrels of beer in 2016. This was about 12.3% of the beer industry's 2016 volume.    More impressively, craft and micro brewers 2016 sales totaled $23.5 billion, which was 21.9%

2017 153

Aspen Institute and Cornell Release Gig Economy Data Hub

Small Business Labs

The Data Hub is designed for a wide range of users interested in the gig economy, whether they are looking for a quick answer or in-depth analysis. The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative and Cornell University's ILR School recently launched the Gig Economy Data Hub , which is a curated online repository of studies, data and information on independent work and the gig economy.

2018 126

Gartner's Top Trends for 2017

Small Business Labs

Key quote on what this means: Employees, already familiar with behavior influencing through contextual algorithms on consumer sites such as Amazon, will be influenced by an emerging set of “persuasive technologies” that leverage big data from myriad sources, mobile, IoT devices and deep analysis. It's that time of year again. We're not referring to the holidays. It's trend forecast season, when everyone releases their top trends lists and predictions for the next year. 

2017 161

Do Uber Drivers Only Make $3.37 Per Hour? (The Quick Answer is No)

Small Business Labs

The only problem was their analysis was flawed, something they conceded this week.  A study on ridesharing drivers -  The Economics of Ride-Hailing: Driver Revenue, Expenses and Taxes - was released last week by the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. Their finding that the ridesharing drivers working for firms like Uber and Lyft have median earnings $3.37 per hour was widely covered in the press.

2018 136

What are Smombies?

Small Business Labs

roads spiking; cellphones eyed : Pedestrian deaths are climbing faster than motorist fatalities, reaching nearly 6,000 last year - the highest total in more than two decades, according to an analysis of preliminary state data released Thursday. According to the Macmillan dictionary, a smombie is a smartphone zombie: someone who is so busy looking at their phone that they do something stupid like stepping out into traffic.

2017 147

Is America "The World's First Poor Rich Country"?

Small Business Labs

He sums up his analysis by saying the U.S. Umair Haque's essay Why America is the World's First Rich Poor Country suggests that America has created a new kind of poverty.    He argues that despite relatively high incomes, growing numbers of Americans can't afford a middle class lifestyle. Key quote: So Americans aren’t just absolutely or relatively poor, but poor in a new way entirely.

2018 130

Using Big Data and Machine Learning to Improve Small Business Lending

Small Business Labs

According to an analysis by Intuit of its early borrowers: 46 percent of QuickBooks Capital customers had never applied for a loan before. Intuit recently announced QuickBooks Capital , a new small business lending product that provides users of QuickBooks access to small business loans up to about $35,000. This new service's lending process is done algorithmically and from within QuickBooks itself.

2017 133

Coworking Forecast - 26,000 Spaces and 3.8 Million Members by 2020

Small Business Labs

How coworking is defined is an important attribute of any coworking industry analysis. Coworking is booming. The industry is growing and hybridizing so fast , we're having a hard time keeping up with it.    We recently released our 2016 coworking forecast and we are projecting continued rapid growth over the next 4 years, although at a slower rate than the industry's current dizzying pace. 

2020 160

Financially Challenges Millennials Changing Society

Small Business Labs

About 875,000 more households are now made up of young adult renters than would have existed if the 2008-era trend had held steady, according to an analysis of census data by Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, a real estate marketing website. According to several recent articles the financial problems of millennials is leading to changing behaviors and purchase patterns as well as broader societal shifts.

2014 182

The Drivers of Contingent Workforce Use by Enterprises

Small Business Labs

Spend Matters analyst Andrew Karpie's article Upwork Launches Talent Services Division to Enable Enterprise Use of Online Freelance Workforce provides an excellent analysis of this new effort. We attended Upwork's Work Without Limits Executive Summit last week. This event was focused on the future of work and targeted at large enterprises.      The attendees were senior HR, procurement and business unit leaders from major corporations.

2017 130

Coworking and the Blending of Work and Life

Small Business Labs

But it's clear from our preliminary analysis of the results that work/life blending is common among coworking members. We quit using the term "work/life balance" many years ago. It simply doesn't fit the world most of us live in. Instead, we started using "work/life flexibility" This term fit what we were hearing in our interviews and seeing in our survey results. People consistently tell us they want to be able have some control over where, when and how they work.

2015 163