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Business Climate

Here’s How REDI Cincinnati Uses BI to Take the Guesswork Out of Company Attraction

In regional economic development, we hear a lot about the “secret sauce” used to attract growing companies. But what does that really mean?

What are the primary ingredients? Great transportation infrastructure? Tax incentives? Top universities? A diverse workforce?

In reality, these and hundreds more factors can influence a company on the move. And while some keep proprietary details close to the vest, at the end of the day, company attraction is really not a mystery at all. It involves a combination of marketing strategy, business analytics, demographic data, and other industry information — better known as business intelligence, or BI — that economic developers can use to anticipate the needs of burgeoning startups and big corporations alike. If they know how to use it, that is.

To illustrate Greater Cincinnati’s unique expertise and approach to using BI, we often use the example of how “Moneyball” changed the game of baseball forever. The famous book (and subsequent movie) tells the story of the Oakland Athletics, a small-market team that was losing out because it couldn’t afford to spend millions on all-star players. In an innovative effort to change that narrative, the team began analyzing countless statistics and recruiting lesser-known, capable players to focus on simpler, time-tested tactics for getting on base. By changing their tactic, the Athletics were able to reverse the losing streak and begin winning games.

This strategy of using data and statistics to influence and improve an outcome is particularly valuable when applied to business development in an economic market like Greater Cincinnati — and we have fantastic examples like 84.51 and Kroger, both regional companies with deep expertise in leveraging consumer data to drive business decisions.

As economic developers, we will always rely on traditional recruitment efforts, and now REDI Cincinnati has begun complementing those methods with artificial intelligence and big data technology for a holistic, best-in-class strategy to support the growing businesses that already call Greater Cincinnati home, while attracting new companies in our target industry clusters.