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Blog

Moving Data Into Action

Posted by Peter Frosch, VP Strategic Partnerhsip on Monday, May 22, 2017

2017 marks the third year of the MSP Regional Indicators Dashboard.  More than 200 regional leaders attended this year’s release event, held on May 12 and co-hosted by GREATER MSP and the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. The annual event brought the Minneapolis-Saint Paul region together to review the region’s performance on more than 50 critical economic, social and environmental measures. 

The Dashboard was created to provide leaders with a shared definition of “competitiveness.” It has developed into a system for tracking progress, benchmarking peer metros and identifying areas that require joint action. With three years of data to analyze, some important insights are now coming into view:

  • Macro-economic indicators for MSP are very strong, but their strength may signal tightness in the labor market;
  • The region is improving too slowly in key competitive areas, including educational attainment; and
  • MSP is making real progress on measures of racial inclusion, with much farther to go.

The event presentation linked below includes these highlights. It also presents several “storylines” emerging from the data, including that MSP must tell our story more aggressively, set goals for improvement, and embrace radical inclusion as an economic growth strategy.

The Dashboard is a regional reality-check.  It gives us a clearer view of our competitiveness than ever before: the good, bad, and in-between. But the Dashboard isn’t just about observing the changes impacting our community, it’s about understanding those changes and coming together to build the shared future we want. And we can’t create a shared future with one breakfast a year. 

That’s why the project is expanding in 2017. The team of business, government, and foundation leaders who lead the Dashboard effort (the Regional Competitiveness Working Group) will host a first-ever workshop event later this summer.  This workshop will be a chance to:

  • engage more leaders and organizations in the Dashboard data;
  • explore how organizations are using, and can use, the Dashboard to support their work;
  • collect ideas for how to improve the Dashboard; and
  • start tackling the big questions – including how to set goals for some of the Dashboard metrics.

If you are interested in more information on this summer’s workshop event or have other questions about the Dashboard effort, contact GREATER MSP at info@greatermsp.org. In the meantime, please use the Regional Indicators Dashboard and share it with others who want to build a better future for our region.    

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