By Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller was instrumental in the development of new technologies focused on real-time collection and analysis of socioeconomic data — and now its faculty and students have access to those tools.
Over the course of a two-year partnership, Eller’s Economic and Business Research Center (EBR) helped design and test the dataZoa and DataZephyr suite of products developed by Boston-based Leading Market Technologies (LMT). The software, which launched in April 2012, has since been adopted by the national statistics offices of several countries, and many state agencies within the U.S.
“These tools define a new paradigm in the way information is accessed, visualized, and shared.” said Jay Kemp Smith, chairman and CEO of LMT. “The deep institutional knowledge of EBR was invaluable as we worked to meet the needs of cutting-edge business analysts and forecasters.”
“Much of the important data describing economic and social phenomena are traditionally presented by publishers as a snapshot in time, in a single PDF,” said Maile Nadelhoffer, senior research economist with EBR, who spearheaded the collaboration. “However, in order to track and predict things like the regional economy, emerging comparative advantages, changes in the business climate, and nascent opportunities, analysts need to observe trends and to get their hands on historical data.”
dataZoa and DataZephyr, with patented and patent-pending technologies, grab data such as home prices by region, employment and occupational data, wage rates by city, education and poverty measures, traffic through U.S. ports, and more, to construct historical time series data in a standardized format. With one click, users can store reports in a personal sandbox, and the results update in real time with the primary source. Through an intuitive interface, users can build graphs and charts with live data, and these applications also auto-update — and with a single click, can be embedded in a website.
It’s this technology that has allowed EBR to post real-time data on Arizona’s economy on its award-winning website, ebr.eller.arizona.edu.
Visitors to the EBR site — or any website with dataZoa-embedded applications — can download, track, or share the data presented with one click, creating a seamless data flow from economic indicators through forecasts to research to data consumers. dataZoa enhances the usability of public datasets such as the U.S. Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Bureau of Economic Analysis by pulling these data into one standardized time-series format. With one click, users can send live-updating time-series captured by dataZoa to DataZephyr, the computational, visualization, and tracking software. Users can easily combine and compare data from a huge variety of sources with their own proprietary data and perform advanced analytics, with real-time updates. DataZephyr allows users to view up to 225 graphic windows at a time powered by a math engine shared with two of LMT’s flagship products: MarketBrowser®, the most popular live stock market monitoring software in the world, and EXPO™, an advanced analytics and decision support platform for professional traders, analysts, and portfolio managers.
In recognition of EBR’s contribution to the development of dataZoa and DataZephyr, LMT has donated software licenses valued at $600,000 to EBR, the Eller College, and the UA.
“The whole team here at EBR believes that it is imperative for public decision makers, business leaders, and citizens to easily access the most recent data and analysis describing their communities, regions, and country,” said Nadelhoffer. “dataZoa will be a powerful tool to promote the process of informed decision making in the public and private arenas.”
“dataZoa frees up significant resources for research and analysis, resources that were being used previously in our significant data collection efforts,” said Marshall J. Vest, director of EBR. “dataZoa also gives us the data collection firepower to make effective comparisons between our state, other regions, our nation, and world. This is a huge productivity enhancer for us.”
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