There are a variety of public data sources that can offer data on regional innovation assets, most of which are available at little or no cost. Among the public data sources, some capture multiple data elements and can play an important role in Level 2 work. Among these are the U.S. Census Bureau, Workforce3One, and Economy.com.
It is important to note that local data sources may be available for information specifically pertinent to the performance of local institutions – and such information may have already been captured in other reports. Local media (newspapers, television, etc.) can be useful both for their knowledge and evaluation of assets, and they often write comparisons of the region with another.
At other times, the project team may have to extract whatever meaningful data it can from state, county or other data that encompasses geographic areas not identical to the region. Although precision in data is a worthwhile goal, there will be occasions when the project team may decide to use imperfect data in order to have some means of evaluating an entity identified as a regional asset.
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