Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Creative Vitality Suite Tool Explained

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

The CreativeVitality Suite
Because I get questions about the Creative Vitality Suite tool -- what it is, how it's used and what purpose it serves, I asked WESTAF to provide the following content as the technology provider of the Creative Vitality ™Suite.  The Suite is a research-based economic development tool that provides high-quality, national creative economy data and reporting.

Creative Economy Data - A (brief) User’s Guide
If you are reading this blog you are probably an arts administrator, perhaps a researcher, or maybe you are an advocate or proponent of the Arts. Regardless of your position, there is a good chance you are interested in understanding the economic impact the Arts have in your community. You may seek answers to questions such as the following: How much do the arts contribute to the local economy? How do art and creative economy jobs in your area compare with those in other areas? How do you best report data-based findings about the creative economy?

Having a good understanding of your local creative economy can be a major benefit to your organization--and your community. When you need to influence funders, legislators, and prove your relevance in the community, data is most useful. Data can also help administrators make smart and informed decisions about ways to develop audiences, structure marketing campaigns, design fundraising strategies, develop programming approaches and position an organization's brand. Having high-quality data in hand is key to understanding your options, making effective decisions and effectively communicating your case.

Economic development teams work to create economic activity that will result in new businesses and jobs. As we well know, too often a community and its leadership do not understand the degree the impact the arts and creative economy have on a local or state economy. Defining the size and scope of that impact with credible data is one way to raise awareness that the arts and the creative economy create jobs and bring new revenues into the community.

Be the smart one in the room
There’s still confusion in our field in the areas of statistics and data. If you are puzzled by the avalanche of data, you are not alone. If you have experience with data and statistics, you are likely in the minority. Organizations that use data to make their case tend get much more traction because they can rise above the rest of the crowd that often fails to support their claims with high-quality data. The CVSuite is easy to use and continued familiarity will make you comfortable with, and more knowledgable about, all kinds of data.

How to determine the size and scope of my impact? There’s a tool for that...
The CVSuite cloud-based software is currently used by many state and local arts agencies and arts organizations around the country to analyze both for profit and nonprofit creative labor market data at the state, MSA, county, and zip code level. The user of the CVSuite tool can easily access the number of jobs and industries in the creative sector in a select geographic area to include wages and salaries, and sales and earnings revenues. Downloadable spreadsheets are available for deeper analysis to include Location Quotient, non-profit contributions, and year over year comparisons.

The tool also contains multi-year data and the geographic areas for analysis are national, so geographic comparisons, and year-over-year analyses and benchmarking are easily accomplished. Demographic and ethnicities per occupation will be available in the Fall of 2016.

In addition, snapshot reports can be quickly downloaded and easily communicated.

So whether you need data to prove your contributions to the overall economy, or for advocacy, or to be the smartest person in the room, CVSuite can help.  

In the CVSuite tool, you can easily download reports when you need them

The Creative Vitality Suite tool will help you:
  • To put forth a more credible, impactful creative economy story to your constituents, elected officials, the media and the public. Adding the quantitative to the qualitative makes for a stronger story.
  • To pinpoint and highlight your successes.
  • To change strategy / trajectory -- to see what occupations are contributing the most to your economy, and to look at changes year over year. 
  • To show how impactful the creative sector is in your area -- how it attracts new businesses to help spur more economic growth.
  • To compare your area’s impact to that of other areas, to benchmark, and to plan for the future.
  • To create legitimacy using national data.
  • To guide marketing messaging.
  • To determine voids and needs in your marketing, fundraising, and media strategies.
  • To develop relevant content for your web site, social media and collateral platforms.
1.  If you need new, current, credible data to tell a compelling story or make a strong presentation argument
2.  If you want to be able to work with economic development experts on their level and speak their language
3.  If you want solid data at a reasonable price
4.  If you want to be able to compare the creative economy in the geographic areas of your choosing, and identify what other cities are doing to boost their creative economies
5.  If you want an online data tool available to use when you want to use it,

The CVSuite™ Could Be Your Data Solution

If you would like more information on data and how to use it, or for a demo of WESTAF’s Creative Vitality Suite, contact Susan Gillespie: email:

WESTAF will have a booth at the AFTA Conference in Boston June 16-18 where you can learn more about the best uses of data and see a demo of the Creative Vitality ™ Suite.

For more information on other data sources, click here for Which Data, the second webinar in the Art of Data series presented by WESTAF.

Have a good day.

Don't Quit