Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WESTAF launches the Creative Vitality Suite, a new online tool to measure the robustness of an area’s creative economy

Good morning
"And the beat goes on......."

WESTAF has just launched the Creative Vitality Suitea new online tool to measure the robustness of an area’s creative economy.

• The Creative Vitality Suite is a major advance for the arts and cultural field. Because it is an online tool, it provides 24/7 access to a wide variety of up-to-date data. This is very different from the traditional commissioning of a report on the creative economy, which--by the time it is completed and delivered--is usually substantially out-of-date.

• Moving beyond the advocacy-focused use of data, this tool helps organizations that seek to sit at the table with decision makers such as economic development experts, who demand credible data.  Moreover, the data helps drive informed decision making in a variety of ways.

• The Creative Vitality Suite is the initial phase of a very robust data portal for the arts. The site already contains huge amounts of data. Westaf's plan is to add much more to the site. Doing so will help ensure that the arts community has access to the data they need to make good decisions and to partner with the broader community.

• Nicole Stephan lead the design and development of WESTAFs Creative Vitality Suite online tool (formerly Creative Vitality Index). Stephan previously served as a data design lead on a Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Adviser web tool, an innovative charting platform displaying up-to-the-second economic data and market sentiment. She holds a BFA in graphic design from the College of Creative Studies and a MS in information and communication technologies for development from the University of Colorado Boulder Alliance for Technology Learning and Society (ATLAS) Institute. 

• The CVSuite tool was developed to encourage interaction and exploration of data. This investigation allows users to gain knowledge about factors in their creative economy and how to best report findings. The benefit from an organizational standpoint is controlling the variables used to report on a region’s creative economy.

Here is information from Westaf's press release:

"The Creative VitalityTM Suite is a tool that provides in depth and up-to-date employment and economic data about both the for profit and nonprofit sectors of the creative economy. Data in the tool are available on a nationwide basis and can be accessed by state, county, MSA, state legislative district, congressional district and ZIP Code. Developed by WESTAF, a nonprofit arts service organization, the online tool is now available for use at cvsuite.org

For more information about the Creative Vitality SuiteTM, please contact Blake Brown, WESTAF Technology Services Associate Blake.Brown@westaf.org or via telephone 303-629-1166.

WESTAF developed the Creative Vitality SuiteTM from the “bottom up” for researchers and administrators working in the area of the creative economy. The online tool allows you 24/7 access to creative economy data.

CVSuiteTM labor market data are based on North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes and Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes.

  • The CVSuiteTM lets you conduct custom analyses by selecting the NAICS codes you want to include in a definition of the creative economy.
  • You can pull data from competing geographic areas and compare them across multiple factors.
  • Reports on creative industry sales, employment patterns, workforce demographics and earnings data are available instantly.
  • Reports originate from independent third-party data sources.
    • National Center for Charitable Statistics
    • National Assembly of State Arts Agencies
    • Economic Modeling Specialists International collects and cleans multiple streams of creative economy data from more than 90 sources, including:
    • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The CVSuiteTM tilts toward research not just advocacy.

  • Data are updated quarterly (except nonprofit data which is updated annually)
  • CVSuiteTM reports places creative-economy advocates at the table with informed economic- development specialists, who expect to discuss findings rooted in credible data sources.

The Creative Vitality SuiteTM is a budget-friendly tool.

  • Annual subscriptions starts as low as $3,500.

The CVSuiteTM includes comprehensive data and analysis and does not require an agency or organization to assist with local data collection.

The CVSuiteTM allows for annual tracking of an array of data streams, and provides credible trend data.

The CVSuiteTM provides for timely actionable information and allows for low-impact inclusion of this measure in annual budgets.

The CVSuiteTM gives developers and planners, as well as arts advocates and administrators, concrete measures to make informed decisions about jobs, commercial cultural-business activity, and development of arts-related businesses and institutions.

WESTAF designed the CVSuiteTM as a tool for state- and local-level measurement of the creative economy.

  • The CVSuiteTM contains economic data for every ZIP Code, county, MSA, and state in the nation. + You can compare virtually any geographic and political subdivision with any other nationwide, and make relevant local comparisons with urban, rural, and demographically similar areas.
  • Grant data are accessible by U.S. congressional district and will soon be available by state legislative district.

The online tool gives you 24/7 access to creative economy data.

  • WESTAF believes this easy to access online tool will help arts advocates, administrators and researchers present reliable, up-to-date information about commercial and nonprofit arts in any community.

The Creative VitalityTM Suite helps you “picture” the data. Using the CVSuiteTM tool, you can download reports with easy-to-read charts and graphs.

Data used in charts and graphs can be customized to give a community a detailed analysis of how many creative-sector jobs already exist, how much sales activity the sector generates and taxes paid."

Check it out.  In a world where data is increasingly an essential component in making informed judgments and decisions, it may be of tremendous use and value to your organization - in everything from audience development, media support, donor solicitation, advocacy, and growing relationships with government and business partners. I'm not the most technically oriented person, but I am impressed with this tool. 

Have a great week.

Don't Quit