How Business Intelligence Can Fuel Your Efforts

Big data holds big potential. According to IDC, businesses spent $215 billion on big data and business intelligence solutions in 2021 alone. That represents a 10% increase compared to 2020. Job growth in data analytics and business intelligence (BI) also remains strong. It’s clear that the future is doubling down on data. But all its power and glory mean very little until you can answer one question: What can data-driven intelligence do for you?

Having a theoretical understanding of how to foster an intelligent business is one thing. Putting your BI tools to work and generating results is quite another. Too many organizations fail to bridge the gap and successfully use business data to transform their operations. The effectiveness of BI data can suffer from:

  • Failure to involve the right people in the decision-making process
  • Limitations within the BI software itself
  • Poor adoption processes

So, let’s fix that. Here’s a closer look at BI, along with some steps you can take to ensure it’s broadly adopted and benefits all users.

BI Definition: What Is Business Intelligence?

Let’s start with some clarity. First, what is a good business intelligence definition? Business intelligence, or BI, refers to software that turns data into usable insights. To make sense of information, it uses:

  • Data collection tools
  • Business analytics
  • Data visualization
  • An organized data warehouse

When you wrap your data up in a neat and tidy package, you can make better business decisions based on real-world insights.

What Is Business Analytics?

So what is business analytics, then? There’s a little overlap here. Business analytics uses historical data to identify potential trends and patterns that help companies make predictions for the future.

An easy way to think about it is that business analytics is a small slice of BI. Both are important, especially for informed decision-making. Both can work together to drive better business outcomes.

Why Are BI Reporting and Business Data Important for Companies?

Imagine you are shopping for a new car. You go to the lot and see they have several of the same model in stock. On the surface, they all look the same except for the color. But after you buy one, you learn that it was actually a year older than the others on the lot and had thousands more miles than them. It had also been in a previous accident, but it still costs the same as the newer cars.

With a little more insight into what you were buying, you may have chosen differently. Since all the cars cost the same in this example, you could have gotten more value by getting a newer, less-driven model that was in better condition. BI and analytics work in a similar manner. They provide users with data they might have overlooked or might not realize is available. With those insights, users can improve business operations and data-driven decision-making.

To be clear, BI data doesn’t tell companies what to do or what will happen if they make certain decisions. Its value lies in presenting business leaders with simplified data insights related to a specific area of business. It helps to remove some of the guesswork of an endless list of what-if questions. It streamlines the process of searching for and combining various data sets to speed up the decision-making timeline.

How Do Companies Use BI Software?Typing on a laptop.

Business intelligence software sounds helpful in theory. In reality, the possible applications are nearly endless. For instance, a retail store or logistics company might use BI for predictive purposes. AI is useful for identifying supply chain risks and may help companies plan for unexpected surges in demand or delays in transport.

Sales teams will often use a BI platform to visualize their pipelines and see where all of their deals are in real-time. Take Meltwater client AxiaOrigin, for example. This consultancy specializes in best-in-class data discovery and analysis, with a particular focus on unused data that its clients struggle to unlock value from.

Much of its work is bespoke to each client, so having a flexible solution that can address a wide range of requests is critical. AxiaOrigin can explore large sets of raw data without manually mining and extracting insights. And it’s all because of our AI-powered business intelligence and analytics tools.

Another common use case is to predict future trends, which is how Fund for Peace uses Meltwater. This non-profit works to prevent conflict. It relies on easy-to-use BI to track trends and get early warnings of potential conflict. This forward-thinking approach allows the organization to respond quickly to escalating situations. Using an easy-to-understand, end-to-end solution reduces the time it takes to research and track events, which has enriched the organization’s data even more.

Specifically, BI reporting can be useful in several ways:

  • Spot trends
  • Benchmark competitors
  • Increase sales and profit
  • Optimize operations
  • Uncover problems or issues
  • Track performance
  • Predict future trends and successes
  • Understand your customers

When used to its potential, BI reporting can help to improve just about any aspect of your business.

What Kinds of Business Intelligence Tools Should You Use?

The right BI tools let you go from theoretical benefits to tangible value. To make this leap, you must first explore your options for choosing and implementing BI solutions.

Types of Intelligent Business ToolsA hand points to charts and graphs displayed on a transparent screen.

A range of tools and solutions are part of the BI market. Examples include:

  • Dashboards
  • Data visualization tools
  • Reporting features
  • Data mining
  • ETL (extract transfer load)
  • OLAP (online analytical processing)

Among the most common are dashboarding and visualization tools. Dashboards can be customized to display certain types of data at a glance. These are most often used when business leaders need to access the same information on an ongoing basis. Visualization tools turn data into visual images or models for easier information processing.

All of the above can fall into one of two buckets. There’s the “classic” BI that focuses only on in-house transactional data. And then there’s “modern” BI that takes internal and external data from a variety of sources into account. Modern BI offers additional advantages to completing and enriching data sets, which allows for faster and easier analysis.

Today’s BI solutions are largely cloud-based software-as-a-service (though some are still on-premise). They span a range of features and functionality. They’re enterprise-grade in terms of power. But even non-technical users can benefit from the approach that many BI applications take. Having your own data analysts or team of data scientists is great, but it is no longer required for deploying BI.

Going Beyond a Business Intelligence System

A person with long hair smiles while sitting at a table having a meeting with colleagues.It’s not just a matter of choosing software and tools to make BI solutions work. This is where a lot of companies go wrong. You cannot simply “solution-ize” your business. You must factor in other considerations that can make or break your BI implementation.

First, companies need to instill the right culture. Technology itself isn’t enough if the people using it can’t make heads or tails of it. Staff empowered to make decisions who know the right questions to ask are ideally suited for BI. They’re usually skilled in finding patterns in sales data or social media mentions, for example. They also view a BI solution as more than just a data tool. They see it as a valuable way to investigate how past actions triggered results and to better predict the results of future actions.

Also, companies need buy-in from the top down. BI software isn’t just a one-off activity. On the contrary, its value grows over time as it collects more data for deeper and more reliable insights. With this in mind, don’t expect BI solutions to perform miracles overnight, and don’t try to implement them quickly.

Doing so most often means that some aspects of the organization were not taken into account. Using an implementation consultant can shore up these little bumps in the road that could ultimately derail your BI program. They ask hard questions to achieve short-term goals and long-term value.

The data you feed your BI software will also contribute to your success. You need to consider structured and unstructured data sources to gauge customer sentiment and relate it to other data points. This is becoming critical as customers engage with businesses through a variety of channels. Also, data should come from verified, reliable sources to maintain its integrity and reap all the benefits of BI.

Lastly, organizations need to establish specific goals for their BI system. Goal creation ensures that companies are collecting and analyzing the right data. You’ll likely have a mix of metrics related to customer satisfaction, sales, and internal user adoption. Your BI system must be flexible and customizable to accommodate future goals and priority shifts.

By: TJ Kiely

Source: How Business Intelligence Can Fuel Your Efforts

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How The Power Of Predictive Analytics Can Transform Business

Tableau analytics visual

With the acceleration of digital transformation in business, most CTOs, CIOs, and even middle management or analysts are now asking, “What’s next with data?” and what ongoing role will technology play in both digital and data transformations. Other questions that keep these individuals up at night include:

  • How can people throughout all organizational levels be more empowered to use data and help others make better decisions?
  • What prevents people from more deeply exploring and using data?
  • In what ways can analytics tools and methods help more people use data in the daily routine of business—asking questions, exploring hypotheses, and testing ideas?

With this in mind, plus observations and discussions with many Tableau customers and partners, it seems that today’s circumstances, behaviors, and needs make it the right time for predictive data analytics to help businesses and their people solve problems effectively.

Current realities and barriers to scale smarter decision-making with AI 

With growing, diverse data sets being collected, the analytics use cases to transform data into valuable insights are growing just as fast. Today, a wide range of tools and focused teams specialize in uncovering data insights to inform decision-making, but where organizations struggle is striking the right balance between activating highly technical data experts and business teams with deep domain experience.

Until now, using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and other statistical methods to solve business problems was mostly the domain of data scientists. Many organizations have small data science teams focused on specific, mission-critical, and highly scalable problems, but those teams usually have a long project list to handle.

At the same time though, there are a large number of business decisions that rely on experience, knowledge, and data—and that would greatly benefit from applying more advanced analysis techniques. People with domain knowledge and proximity to the business data could benefit greatly, if they had access to these techniques.

Instead, there’s currently a back-and-forth process of relying on data scientists and ML practitioners to build and deploy custom models—a cycle that lacks agility and the ability to iterate quickly. By the end, the data that the model was trained on could be stale and the process starts again. But organizations depend on business users to make key decisions daily that don’t rise to the priority level of their central data science team.

The opportunity to solve data science challenges

This is where there’s an opportunity to democratize data science capabilities, minimizing the trade-offs between extreme precision and control versus the time to insight—and the ability to take action on these insights. If we can give people tools or enhanced features to better apply predictive analytics techniques to business problems, data scientists can gain time back to focus on more complex problems. With this approach, business leaders can enable more teams to make data-driven decisions while continuing to keep up with the pace of business. Additional benefits gained from democratizing data science in this way include:

  • Reducing data exploration and prep work
  • Empowering analyst experts to deliver data science outputs at lower costs
  • Increasing the likelihood of producing successful models with more exploration of use cases by domain experts
  • Extending, automating, and accelerating analysis for business groups and domain experts
  • Reducing time and costs spent on deploying and integrating models
  • Promoting responsible use of data and AI with improved transparency and receiving guidance on how to minimize or address bias

Business scenarios that benefit from predictive analytics 

There are several business scenarios where predictive capabilities can be immensely useful.

Sales and marketing departments can apply it to lead scoring, opportunity scoring, predicting time to close, and many other CRM-related cases. Manufacturers and retailers can use it to help with supply chain distribution and optimization, forecasting consumer demand, and exploring adding new products to their mix. Human resources can use it to assess the likelihood of candidates accepting an offer, and how they can adjust salary and benefits to meet a candidate’s values. And companies can use it to explore office space options and costs. These are just a few of the potential scenarios.

A solution to consider: Tableau Business Science

We are only at the beginning of exploring what predictive capabilities in the hands of people closely aligned with the business will unlock. AI and ML will continue to advance. More organizations, in a similar focus as Tableau, will also keep looking for techniques that can help people closest to the business see, understand, and use data in new ways to ask and answer questions, uncover insights, solve problems, and take action.

This spring Tableau introduced a new class of AI-powered analytics that gives predictive capabilities to people who are close to the business. In this next stage of expanded data exploration and use, we hope business leaders embrace data to help others make better decisions, and to provide transparent insight into the factors influencing those decisions.

When people can think with their data—when analysis is more about asking and answering questions than learning complex software or skills—that’s when human potential will be unleashed, leading to amazing outcomes. Learn more about Tableau Business Science, what this technology gives business teams, and the value it delivers to existing workflows.

Olivia Nix is a Senior Manager of Product Marketing at Tableau. She leads a team focused on the use of AI and ML in analytics and engagement, including how to use technology to enable more people in organizations to make data-driven decisions. Olivia has been at Tableau for four years where she has worked closely with development teams on new product launches. Prior to Tableau, Olivia worked as an analyst at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change (now C2ES) and Johnson Controls. She has her MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Source: How The Power Of Predictive Analytics Can Transform Business

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Critics:

Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from data mining, predictive modelling, and machine learning that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future or otherwise unknown events.

In business, predictive models exploit patterns found in historical and transactional data to identify risks and opportunities. Models capture relationships among many factors to allow assessment of risk or potential associated with a particular set of conditions, guiding decision-making for candidate transactions.

The defining functional effect of these technical approaches is that predictive analytics provides a predictive score (probability) for each individual (customer, employee, healthcare patient, product SKU, vehicle, component, machine, or other organizational unit) in order to determine, inform, or influence organizational processes that pertain across large numbers of individuals, such as in marketing, credit risk assessment, fraud detection, manufacturing, healthcare, and government operations including law enforcement.

Predictive analytics is used in actuarial science,marketing,business management, sports/fantasy sports, insurance,policing, telecommunications,retail, travel, mobility, healthcare, child protection, pharmaceuticals,capacity planning, social networking and other fields.

One of the best-known applications is credit scoring,[1] which is used throughout business management. Scoring models process a customer’s credit history, loan application, customer data, etc., in order to rank-order individuals by their likelihood of making future credit payments on time.

Predictive analytics is an area of statistics that deals with extracting information from data and using it to predict trends and behavior patterns. The enhancement of predictive web analytics calculates statistical probabilities of future events online. Predictive analytics statistical techniques include data modeling, machine learning, AI, deep learning algorithms and data mining.Often the unknown event of interest is in the future, but predictive analytics can be applied to any type of unknown whether it be in the past, present or future.

For example, identifying suspects after a crime has been committed, or credit card fraud as it occurs.The core of predictive analytics relies on capturing relationships between explanatory variables and the predicted variables from past occurrences, and exploiting them to predict the unknown outcome. It is important to note, however, that the accuracy and usability of results will depend greatly on the level of data analysis and the quality of assumptions.

Predictive analytics is often defined as predicting at a more detailed level of granularity, i.e., generating predictive scores (probabilities) for each individual organizational element. This distinguishes it from forecasting. For example, “Predictive analytics—Technology that learns from experience (data) to predict the future behavior of individuals in order to drive better decisions.”In future industrial systems, the value of predictive analytics will be to predict and prevent potential issues to achieve near-zero break-down and further be integrated into prescriptive analytics for decision optimization.

See also

5 Pieces of Money Advice No One Ever Wants to Hear From Me

You know how adults always told you to “eat your veggies” and greens when you were a kid? Well, that nagging advice doesn’t necessarily stop in adulthood. As a financial planner, I’m constantly giving people good advice they don’t want.

I know no one wants to hear this kind of money advice. But those who do listen — and more importantly, implement these ideas — tend to have better control over their cash flow, higher savings rates, and more financial power.

You might not like it, but much like eating broccoli and kale, taking it in is often for your own good.

1. Don’t buy so much house

Buying a home is rarely a data-driven decision. It’s an emotional one, and for good reason. For many people, homeownership represents stability, security, and even status.

These are not unimportant things, but too many people use their emotions as excuses to throw financial reality out the window when it comes to house hunting.

Set a budget and stick to it. We often recommend keeping your total annual housing costs to no more than 20% of your gross annual household income.

This helps ensure you retain flexibility in other areas of your cash flow so that you can own your home and keep pursuing other important goals or have money available for your other priorities.

2. And don’t assume your house is a good investment

I often caution people against thinking of their home as an investment. Again, that doesn’t mean buying is a bad idea or your house isn’t worth as much as you think it is. But an investment should provide a return.

A single-family home that serves as your primary residence (and does not provide rental income) may be an excellent utility. It is not, however, what I would consider a good investment.

Home values do tend to rise over time, but the cost of ownership, maintenance, and upkeep often erode most of the “gains” you might see when just looking at the transaction of buying and then selling your home on paper.

A reasonable, real return on single-family homes runs about 2%. That’s not nothing, but it’s also not something you can assume will fund your full retirement, either (especially when you have to live somewhere, retired or not, and most people put the equity from a home sale into their next purchase).

3. Save more than you think you need to

It’s really important to me that I help my clients strike a balance between enjoying their lives in the present while also building assets and future financial security. This would be much easier to do if we had a crystal ball and could accurately predict what life would be like in 10, 20, even 30 years.

We’d know your budget. We’d know what kinds of emergencies you’d have to deal with, and prepare accordingly. And we’d understand what your life would look like (including how long it would be).

With that clarity, it would be possible to say, “you need $X. Save just that and feel free to spend the rest.” That is, obviously, not how life works.

The solution? Save more than you think you need to, because then you give yourself a margin of safety. By saving more than you necessarily must save to “be OK,” you can better:

  • Handle emergencies
  • Take advantage of opportunities when they come up (either to spend on an unexpected trip, for example, or to use money on an investment you feel passionate about)
  • Incorporate new goals into your planning over time

Saving more that you think you need today also buys you more choice and freedom in the future. The usual guideline I give to clients to help them achieve this is to save 25% of annual gross income.

4. Have a backup plan

It might sound like a doom-and-gloom approach to finances, but I preach about always having a backup plan — or those margins of safety, or wiggle room, or contingencies.

No one wants to imagine a worst-case scenario, but if something actually went sideways in your financial life, you’ll be glad you had multiple levels of safety net built into your overall plan.

You can do this in a number of ways, including some we’ve already talked about, like saving more than you think you need to save.

Other ways of building in backups is by maintaining an emergency fund, using conservative assumptions around income, and overestimating your expenses when you do any kind of long-term financial projection, and not counting on any kind of windfall (from bonuses and commissions to inheritances) to make your plan work.

5. Stop trying to time the market

It is so tempting to think we can successfully time the market. Why? Because drops and spikes in the stock market look stupidly obvious with hindsight.

It’s very easy to look back at something like 2008 (or maybe even the spring of 2020 at this point) and feel like you know when the best times to buy and sell would have been… because they already happened. 

Guessing what comes next without the benefit of knowing how things played out is not the same thing. Data shows us that even professionals fail to time the market repeatedly. You may get lucky once, but repeating that performance over and over again for the next few decades is virtually impossible.

Build a strategic investing plan — and then stick to it, regardless of current events.

It’s probably not as fun and may not be as sexy as bragging about your stock picks on Robinhood, but it works a whole lot better in the long run.

By:

Eric Roberge, CFP, is the founder of Beyond Your Hammock. He helps professionals in their 30s do more with their money.

Source: 5 Pieces of Money Advice No One Ever Wants to Hear From Me

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For Small Businesses, Recovery from COVID Could Take Years

Latresa McLawhorn Ryan knows well the havoc that COVID has reaped upon small businesses of color in the Atlanta area and believes the effects of COVID are likely to hang over these businesses for some time. She also knows that small businesses of color can bounce back if they get the right kind of assistance.

“We’ve lost a lot of businesses, some that were really anchors in their community,” said McLawhorn Ryan, executive director of the Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative, a nonprofit organization of community investors, advocates, and activists that supports Black-owned firms. She added that the casualties have included yoga studios, restaurants, and other businesses that rely on high traffic and face-to-face interaction. “It will take three to five years, depending on the sector, for businesses to recover from the impact of COVID.”

Because small businesses of color are an important driver of employment and asset building in their communities, the COVID-related business failures send a message throughout the community that perhaps it is more vulnerable to market forces, McLawhorn Ryan added.

The Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Kansas City published a recovery guide in late 2020 to offer strategies that can help small businesses of color bounce back from the COVID crisis. The guide begins by discussing the state of small businesses of color before the COVID-19 pandemic, placing these firms’ challenges into historical context.

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Entrepreneur-In-Residence Scott Shigeoka talks with economic experts and small business owners about overcoming hardships and their message of hope for recovery after COVID-19. Robert Brown, Sr. Director of Business Analytics at GoDaddy, breaks down Venture Forward, a multi-year study looking at the impact of micro and small businesses on the American economy. Resources for Small Businesses: Venture Forward study: https://www.godaddy.com/ventureforward Up-to-date info on COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov

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A second section provides recommendations for communities looking to assist small businesses of color in the areas of credit and capital, education and training, policy, and community support. The final section shares tools for communities to develop an entrepreneurship network focused on small businesses of color.

Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic led a January 14 panel discussion with Southeast community leaders discussing ways to support small businesses. The webinar focused on the need to establish networks that can deliver resources and coaching.

Issue number 1 is funding

Janelle Williams, a senior adviser in the Atlanta Fed’s Community and Economic Development group who wrote the recovery guide with two Kansas City Fed advisers, said businesses owned by nonwhites face especially daunting challenges to regain their footing, with access to funding and credit topping the list.

“There are still structural barriers that limit small businesses of color from securing the capitalization needed to sustain and scale their businesses in a valuable way,” she said.

Much of the funds approved by U.S. lawmakers last year under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help businesses preserve employment did not reach the smallest companies and many firms owned by people of color. For example, a Federal Reserve Bank of New York analysis found that PPP loans were given to just 20 percent of eligible companies in states with the highest densities of Black-owned firms. In Fulton County, Georgia—which includes the city of Atlanta—a total of 20.8 percent of businesses received loans from the program. In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, just 15 percent of eligible firms obtained PPP funds.

In mid-January, a third round of PPP loans opened. Small business owners of color are hopeful that more funds will reach them this time. A portion of the $284 billion approved for small businesses in the December 2020 COVID relief legislation was set aside for firms with 10 or fewer employees and lenders that cater to underserved communities, including minority-owned banks and community development financial institutions.

Small businesses of color face barriers that make it harder to gain access to capital. They often lack relationships with traditional banks and access to social networks that could help them learn about and apply for available loans. Most entrepreneurs of color don’t have family wealth that could be used to start a business.

Other factors hinder the success of nonwhite small businesses. Williams noted research showing that in the six southeastern states that are part of the Atlanta Fed’s coverage area, small businesses of color are overrepresented in sectors such as food services and retail that have been particularly vulnerable during the pandemic because of required lockdowns, social distancing guidelines, and lower demand for goods and services.

“There is a need for a broader conversation around addressing barriers to entry for small businesses of color that seek to access higher-growth industries that are moderately insulated from market pressures,” Williams said.

Different approaches to financing

The tougher path to viability that small businesses of color face has been well documented. A 2017 report from Prosperity Now, a public policy nonprofit group, notes that deep and persistent patterns of racial discrimination against business owners of color have resulted in greater loan denials and higher interest rates for loans they do obtain. Those financing outcomes result in lower profit margins and limit the opportunities for businesses of color to build thriving enterprises.

The Reserve Banks’ recovery guide notes that the needs of small businesses of color call for financing methods that are nimbler and more accessible to help level the playing field. Those could include interest-free loans, loans with rates that start low and gradually rise, deferred payments and longer repayment time frames, and flexible underwriting terms. Many community organizations consulted in developing the recovery guide “shared that grants, forgivable loans, and patient equity capital will be needed” to help these businesses spring back, the report states.

Williams said the pandemic has challenged the funders that support small businesses of color to think about the kinds of financial assistance that would be meaningful and to understand that some types of aid may not help. “Small businesses of color already are debt averse, so asking them to incur additional debt is a challenge, especially when many rely on their personal income to stay afloat,” she said.

To address these issues, community stakeholders have begun to embrace alternate financing solutions, Williams said. She noted that philanthropic groups were offering program-related investments that provide capital at lower interest rates, while community development financial institutions were introducing funding products that include opportunities for credit enhancement.

The Atlanta Wealth Building Initiative launched a COVID relief fund last year that has provided money to at least 65 small businesses and 18 nonprofits, mainly located in the northwest, southwest, and southeast parts of metro Atlanta where residents’ health and personal income both suffered acutely. The program offers loans that include flexible terms, a six-month grace period, and 30 months of repayment. Through three rounds of grants and two rounds of loans to date, the nonprofit group has dispersed about $800,000 to Black-owned businesses, McLawhorn Ryan said.

The grants and loans have helped in many ways. One restaurant, for example, used a loan from the nonprofit to acquire a food truck that enabled it to sell in different communities and expand its customer base, she said.

“All of our loans were accompanied by specific technical assistance—it helps to have capital, but it also helps to have access to expertise to help think through how to get to the next stage or how to manage cash flow,” McLawhorn Ryan noted.

McLawhorn Ryan said it’s important for funding partners to keep offering funding and general support that will enable small businesses of color to recover and advance to the next phases of development, and she cautioned against a return to business as usual over the next few years.

“This is a new economy, and therefore it requires a new perspective,” McLawhorn Ryan said. “If we are intentional about creating inclusive products, inclusive opportunities for businesses to thrive and survive during this time, we have to be dedicated to the tools that are needed to create a truly equitable environment.”

Staff writer for Economy Matters

 

Source: For Small Businesses, Recovery from COVID Could Take Years – Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

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Financial Well-Being: Highlights from the Fed’s Report

July 20, 2020

The Federal Reserve regularly assesses Americans’ financial situation. This Economy Matters article summarizes the Fed’s latest snapshot and looks at how the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic affected people’s finances.

Small Businesses Feel Pressure from COVID-19 Pandemic, Fed Research Shows

June 12, 2020

Nearly all firms have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, but small firms have been hit the hardest. A recent Federal Reserve study surveyed small businesses about business conditions and expectations, and this Economy Matters article looks at the results.

Homebuilders, Brokers Expect Lower Sales and Construction, Atlanta Fed Poll Shows

June 11, 2020

Residential real estate, long a bulwark of the southeastern economy, has been dampened by COVID-19. This Economy Matters article examines recent poll results to view the pandemic’s impact on the industry.

Assessing the Regional Impact of COVID-19 on Southeastern Employment

May 27, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has profoundly affected employment. This Economy Matters article introduces the Atlanta Fed’s updated state-level Jobs Calculator, using it to show possible future scenarios, including what it would take to return to pre-pandemic employment numbers.

“You Can Build the Infrastructure from Zero”: A Conversation about Digital Adoption in Emerging Economies

March 26, 2020

Much has been written about the digital revolution’s impact on developed economies, but what about developing and emerging economies? The Economy Matters podcast features an Atlanta Fed economist who discusses his research into the question. podcast

“These Local Problems Do Have Some National Solutions”: A Conversation about Inequality

February 27, 2020

In this special episode of the Economy Matters podcast, Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic talks with researcher Anthony Orlando about income inequality and how a seemingly national problem can have solutions that begin close to home. podcast

Wings over America: A Conversation with Author James Fallows

January 2, 2020

In this special episode of the Economy Matters podcast, Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic talks with author James Fallows about Our Town, his book that attempts to deepen our understanding of American social, regional, and cultural diversity. podcast

Diplomats: U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to Bring Certainty

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Why the Big Fuss about Little Dots?

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Venture capital is always on the lookout for the Next Big Thing. Economy Matters looks at the research of an Atlanta Fed economist who furthers our understanding of the important role venture capital plays in the U.S. economy.

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What role does venture capital play in finding and nurturing the Next Big Thing? The Economy Matters podcast tries to answer that question by talking to an Atlanta Fed economist about venture capital’s impact on firm growth and employment. podcast

“Get to Know Your Workforce”: Discussing the Benefits Cliff

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In this special episode of the Economy Matters podcast, Meghan Cummings of the Women’s Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation talks with Atlanta Fed research director Dave Altig about the benefits cliff and ways employers can make the workplace more accommodating to lower-wage employees. podcast

Talking Trade and Other Things China with Economist Tao Zha

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China and its economy—the world’s second largest, after only the United States—have become staples of the daily news cycle. Economy Matters spoke to an Atlanta Fed economist about Chinese trade, economic growth, the unrest in Hong Kong, and more.

Atlanta Fed Research Explores Impact of Teen Driver License Programs on Labor Participation

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Restricting teens’ ability to drive has had measurable improvements on accident rates, but the restrictions have also impeded their ability to participate in the labor force. An Economy Matters article looks at Atlanta Fed research into the impact of teen driving restrictions.

Round and Round: The Basics of the Business Cycle

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What ignites an economic expansion? What brings one to a halt? The answer: it depends. Economy Matters looks at the business cycle and why its behavior is inherently challenging to predict.

The Economics of Aging and the Frailty Index

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“We Do Find a Meaningful Impact”: Novice Driver Restrictions and the Labor Force

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Examining the Effects of Cashless Stores

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Economy Matters looks at research into the impact on consumers (especially the unbanked or underbanked) of businesses’ refusal to accept cash.

Over the Cliff’s Edge? Incentives Hurting Low-Wage Workers

June 13, 2019

Some workers are forced to choose between a pay raise and the loss of a crucial form of public assistance. Economy Matters looks at the vexing phenomenon known as the “benefits cliff” and how to reduce its challenge.

“A Puzzle That Everyone Wants to Solve”: Discussing the Price-Rent Ratio

May 30, 2019

Sometimes an area’s rents increase faster than house prices. But sometimes they don’t. This episode of the Economy Matters podcast discusses the price-rent ratio and what it indicates about housing markets. podcast

Red State, Blue State: Examining the Tax Law’s Spending Effects

May 9, 2019

The 2017 tax law implemented extensive changes to people’s deductions, but the law’s impact varied widely among states. Economy Matters looks at some conclusions based on recent research from the Atlanta Fed.

Speaking Publicly on Privacy: A Conversation about Digital Privacy

April 2, 2019

Safeguarding personal data is a challenge in our digital era. In this special episode of the Economy Matters podcast, Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic speaks with Heinz College professor Alessandro Acquisti about the field of privacy economics. podcast

Under Pressure: The Pluses and Minuses of a Hot Economy

March 28, 2019

Does economic history hold any lessons about an economy in a sustained period of full employment? Atlanta Fed economist Julie Hotchkiss discusses her recent research into the question on this episode of the Economy Matters podcast. podcast

Brazil’s Economy, Emerging from Turmoil, Looks to Future

March 14, 2019

Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy and an important U.S. trading partner, is feeling optimistic about its economic future after years of sluggish growth and uncertainty. Economy Matters presents some expert views of the country’s prospects.

Millennials’ Spending Preferences: All That Different?

March 12, 2019

The popular perception of millennials is that their habits differ markedly from those of older generations. But Economy Matters looks at recent survey data and learns that—at least in terms of how they spend money—they’re not very different after all.

New Survey Aims to Sharpen Understanding of Uncertainty

January 24, 2019

If one thing is certain, it’s that the Atlanta Fed is measuring uncertainty. Economy Matters discusses the Survey of Business Uncertainty, which recently made its debut.

Atlanta Fed Economist Researches a “High-Pressure” Economy

January 17, 2019

When the unemployment rate becomes very low, is it beneficial to try to keep it there? An Atlanta Fed economist looked into the question, and Economy Matters discusses her research.

Untangling the Complex Causes of Inequality

December 4, 2018

Arriving at answers about economic inequality requires research from a variety of perspectives because isolating the relevant factors behind it is a formidable challenge. Some top researchers recently visited the Atlanta Fed to discuss their work on the matter.

Piecing Together the Wage Puzzle

November 29, 2018

Wages and their movements offer an important perspective on the macroeconomy. A new episode of the Economy Matters podcast features an Atlanta Fed economist discussing his observations on recent trends. podcast

A Conversation about the Role of Subprime Loans in the Home Price Boom

November 1, 2018

What relationship did the growth of subprime loans have to booming house prices last decade? The Economy Matters podcast talks to two Atlanta Fed economists who researched the question. podcast

“It’s a Really Dramatic Change”: A Discussion of the Economics of Food

October 12, 2018

How our food is sourced has changed dramatically over time. In this Economy Matters podcast episode, Atlanta Fed president Raphael Bostic talks with Purdue University professor Jayson Lusk about food production and economics and their impact on people’s lives. podcast

Tan cerca y, sin embargo, tan lejos

August 14, 2018

A relação dos EUA com Cuba tem sido tensa por dácadas, mas continua a evoluir. A revista EconomyMatters discute algumas das recentes mudanças e quais poderão ser seus impactos econômicos.

Tão Perto, e Ainda Tão Longe?

August 14, 2018

A relação dos EUA com Cuba tem sido tensa por dácadas, mas continua a evoluir. A revista EconomyMatters discute algumas das recentes mudanças e quais poderão ser seus impactos econômicos.

So Close, Yet So Far?

August 14, 2018

The U.S. relationship with Cuba has been a fraught one for decades, but it continues to evolve. Economy Matters discusses some of the recent changes and what their economic impact might be.

Where We Live: Social Capital and Migration

June 28, 2018

What factors go into where people choose to live? What makes some places more attractive than others? The Economy Matters podcast talks to an Atlanta Fed economist about new research into these questions. podcast

The Myth of Rising Home Prices

June 19, 2018

In the run-up to the housing crisis, Atlanta Fed economist Kris Gerardi and his Fed colleagues were seeing an alarming increase in mortgage defaults. This Economy Matters story looks at Gerardi’s research in the housing market, before the crisis and now.

Immigration in the United States: A Historical Perspective

May 24, 2018

In this special episode of the Economy Matters podcast, economic historian Ran Abramitzky discusses ways he has tried to measure the economic effects of immigration. podcast

The Challenge of Predicting Tariffs’ Impact

May 15, 2018

Tariffs have largely fallen into disuse, which complicates a study of their economic effects. Economy Matters looks at how tariffs and their implementation have evolved over decades.

Seeing the Workforce through the Lens of Economics

April 12, 2018

For economists, examining the job market is like looking through a kaleidoscope: many perspectives are available. In this Economy Matters story, Atlanta Fed economist John Robertson discusses some of the ways he views the labor market and some of the tools he has helped develop to improve that view.

A Hemispheric Perspective: Exploring the Atlanta Fed’s Americas Center

February 28, 2018

Economies throughout the Americas are tightly linked, and understanding those linkages is vitally important. Economy Matters looks at the work of the Atlanta Fed’s Americas Center, which furthers our understanding of these relationships.

Atlanta Fed Economist Delivers Housing Finance Expertise

February 8, 2018

Before the U.S. housing market grabbed the headlines, Atlanta Fed economist Scott Frame devoted himself to intensely studying it. Economy Matters looks at Frame’s work and what led him to his professional path.

Atlanta Fed Surveyor Constantly Refines His Craft

January 30, 2018

Taking the pulse of businesses and attempting to divine the future from the findings is an exacting business. In this Economy Matters article, the Atlanta Fed’s director of surveys discusses the craft of constructing useful surveys.

Student Loan Borrowers Face Tough Choices

January 26, 2018

Budgeting is rarely easy, and decisions, especially for young adults, can have lifetime implications. Economy Matters looks at the choices involved in saving for retirement while paying off student loans.

Estudiantes que solicitan préstamos estudiantiles enfrentan decisiones difíciles

January 26, 2018

Los presupuestos rara vez son fáciles, y las decisiones, especialmente para los adultos jóvenes, pueden tener implicaciones de por vida. Economy Matters analiza las opciones de ahorro para la jubilación mientras paga los préstamos estudiantiles.

In Pursuit of Imperfection: An Economist Builds a Better Model

December 19, 2017

Understanding an increasingly complex economy requires increasingly powerful tools. Economy Matters looks at the research of Atlanta Fed economist Nikolay Gospodinov, who is committed to supplying them.

In through the Out Door (and Back In): A Discussion of Industry Regulation

November 29, 2017

Industry regulators often return to work in the industries they had overseen. This episode of the Economy Matters podcast talks to an economist about approaches that have been successful (or not so successful) in remedying the revolving door. podcast

Putting a Price on Unemployment

October 26, 2017

When unemployment hits, how do you quantify its impact? Economy Matters looks at some research.

A Discussion of Unemployment’s Impact on Family Welfare

October 26, 2017

What is the cost of rising unemployment to a family? The Economy Matters podcast talks to an Atlanta Fed economist about her new research that seeks to find out. podcast

What’s Going On with the Labor Force Participation Rate?

October 10, 2017

Who’s working, who’s not, and why? This episode of the Economy Matters podcast delves into recent trends in the U.S. labor force participation rate.  podcast

Atlanta Fed Economist Explores the Future of Finance

September 7, 2017

Economy Matters: Is the financial supermarket poised to go mainstream?

The Economics of Health Insurance

August 31, 2017

What is the financial impact of losing health care insurance? Economy Matters looks at the fallout in Tennessee.

The Economic Impact on Individuals of Losing Public Health Insurance

August 29, 2017

What is the financial consequence to people when they lose public health insurance? An episode of the Economy Matters podcast looks at new Atlanta Fed research that attempts to quantify the effects. podcast

Taking the Pulse of Firm Optimism

July 31, 2017

This Economy Matters podcast looks at southeastern firm optimism during the presidential transition. podcast

Economists Untangling Complex Insurance Issues

June 22, 2017

About half of Americans over 50 will stay in a nursing home at some point. Yet only about 10 percent of those over 65 have long-term care insurance. Atlanta Fed economists are researching this and other puzzles in U.S. health insurance.

An Eye on the Future: A Discussion about the Long-term Care Insurance Market

June 22, 2017

The Economy Matters podcast talks to Atlanta Fed economists about the long-term care insurance market. podcast

The Wherefores and Whys of Wages

May 24, 2017

After an extended period of relative stagnation, wages have been showing signs of growth. This episode of the Economy Matters podcast discusses recent wage trends and how the Atlanta Fed views wage behavior. podcast

Atlanta Fed Research Examines Debt’s Effects on Health

March 7, 2017

Everyone knows that money woes can prey on one’s mind. But what about on one’s health? Economy Matters looks at recent Atlanta Fed research that explores the impact of delinquent debt on mortality.

Travel Blooms in Cuba as U.S. Relations Thaw, but Obstacles Remain

March 2, 2017

Once off limits to U.S. tourists for decades, Cuba is now luring growing numbers of American visitors. But a number of questions loom, and the answers to them will determine if this growth will continue. Economy Matters looks at the perspective of Cuba experts to learn more.

A Conversation about the Health Effects of Delinquent Debt

March 2, 2017

It’s no surprise that carrying unmanageable debt is stressful. But can it also bring adverse health effects? The Economy Matters podcast features an Atlanta Fed economist who looked into the question. podcast

An Eventful Decade: Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart Looks Back at His Tenure

February 3, 2017

After a decade at the helm of the Atlanta Fed, Dennis Lockhart is preparing to step down as president and CEO. In this Economy Matters podcast episode, Lockhart looks back at his time leading the Bank. podcast

To Fail or Not to Fail? A Discussion of Banking’s “Too Big to Fail” Problem

January 5, 2017

The problem of financial institutions whose distress would be large enough to imperil the larger economy has vexed policymakers for decades. The Economy Matters podcast looks at some of the challenges involved in solving too big to fail. podcast

A Healthy Labor Market Still Includes Many Puzzles

December 8, 2016

Today’s labor market poses numerous questions for economists. Economy Matters looks at some of these questions and considers the good news they portend, as well as the not-so-good news.

Immigration, Offshoring, and Their Effects on U.S. Wages

December 1, 2016

When low-skill immigrants arrive in the United States, and middle-skill jobs are offshored, how are wages affected? An episode of the Economy Matters podcast looks at research into the question. podcast

​Examining China’s Economy: A Conversation with Atlanta Fed Researchers

September 22, 2016

The Chinese economy—the world’s second largest—is of broad interest to economists and many others, and efforts to better understand it are numerous. This episode of the Economy Matters podcast talks to Atlanta Fed economists who have worked to provide clearer data about China’s economy.

Trade Dynamics and China, Part 3: How Do the United States and China Compare?

September 20, 2016

This final article in a three-part series in Economy Matters looks at trade flows between China and the rest of the world, comparing them with the trade flows of the United States. How have these patterns changed over time and across what types of goods?

Dinámica Comercial y China, Parte 3: Una comparación entre Estados Unidos y China

September 20, 2016

Este último artículo de una serie de tres partes publicado en Economy Matters aborda el flujo comercial entre China y otros países del resto del mundo, y lo compara con el flujo comercial de Estados Unidos. ¿De qué manera han cambiado estos patrones comerciales a través del tiempo y con respecto a los tipos de bienes?

A Dinâmica Comercial e a China, 3a Parte: Como Comparar os Estados Unidos e a China?

September 20, 2016

Este último artigo de uma série de três da Economy Matters examina os fluxos comerciais entre a China e o resto do mundo comparando-os aos fluxos comerciais dos Estados Unidos. Como esses padrões de comércio mudaram ao longo do tempo e entre quais tipos de mercadorias?

Economistas do FED de Atlanta Investigam os Mistérios da Economia Chinesa

September 8, 2016

A China é a segunda maior economia do mundo, mas ainda é desafiador entender totalmente sua economia. Uma equipe de economistas do FED de Atlanta está trabalhando para abreviar esse desafio. Economy Matters conversou recentemente com a equipe sobre este trabalho.

Atlanta Fed Economists Probe Mysteries of Chinese Economy

September 8, 2016

China’s growing economy has increasing influence on the economy of the United States. Economy Matters talks to some Atlanta Fed economists who are working to better understand China’s economic data.

Economistas de la Fed de Atlanta investigan misterios de la economía de China

September 8, 2016

China es la segunda mayor economía del mundo pero entender su economía es un desafío. Un equipo de economistas de la Fed de Atlanta está trabajando para dilucidar este desafío. Economy Matters conversó recientemente con ellos acerca de su trabajo.

Are Lemons Sold First? A Discussion of the Mortgage Market

August 18, 2016

The housing crisis made clear that not all mortgage bonds are equally good investments. But what can we learn today from how mortgages are offered for sale as investments? The Economy Matters podcast talks to an Atlanta Fed economist to find out.

Coming to Our Census: A Look at the Atlanta Fed’s Research Data Center

July 21, 2016

The Atlanta Fed is home to a Research Data Center (RDC), which gives qualified researchers access to data available in few other places. In this Economy Matters podcast episode, Julie Hotchkiss, director of the Atlanta RDC, discusses how the facility enables research that otherwise would not be possible.

Part Chart, Part Science: The Evolution of Economic Indicators

July 14, 2016

Just as the economy has evolved over many decades, so too have the ways economic activity is measured. What was once perhaps a key metric might now be only a marginally useful vestige in an economist’s toolbox. Economy Matters looks at some newer tools and how they help assess the economy.

Small Businesses Look to Alternative Funding Sources

June 16, 2016

​Many options are available these days for financing a small business, and this story looks at some of them.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 5: For Gazelle Founders, Hiring Goes beyond the Resume

June 16, 2016

All businesses seek the right hires, but for a small business, having the right employees is arguably even more crucial. The fifth and final installment of Economy Matters‘ Gazelle Project talked to some founders of gazelles—or fast-growing small businesses—about the role of hiring in establishing and building a business.

ECONversations Explores Aging’s Impact on the Economy

May 26, 2016

​The number of Americans 65 and older will increase by 66 percent over the next two decades. This article offers highlights of a recent ECONversations webcast in which two Atlanta Fed research economists discussed the economic and fiscal implications.

Senior Housing Industry Aging Gracefully

May 26, 2016

The surge in the population of older Americans is fueling the growth of “senior living facilities” to house this population. Economy Matters looks at this nascent industry.

Dinámica del Comercio y China, Parte 2: El Mundo – Espanõl

May 2, 2016

¿Cuánto importa y exporta China en los mercados globales y que tipos de bienes intercambia? La segunda entrega de una serie de tres partes de Economy Matters describe el comercio entre China y el resto del mundo en las últimas décadas.

Trade Dynamics and China, Part 2: The World

May 2, 2016

How much does China import and export globally and what types of goods are exchanged? Economy Matters charts China-world trade over the past few decades in the second of a three-part series.

A Dinâmica Comercial e a China, 2ª Parte: O Mundo – Português

May 2, 2016

Quanto a China importa e exporta globalmente, e que tipos de mercadorias são comercializadas? A segunda parte da série de três artigos da Economy Matters faz um mapa da participação chinesa no mercado mundial nas últimas décadas.

German Central Banker Says Euro Economy Gradually Recovering

April 19, 2016

The European Central Bank loosened monetary policy to boost the euro area economy. But that brings economic risk, said a German central banker at a recent luncheon at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Economy Matters offers highlights of his presentation.

Health Care Sector Projected to Expand

April 14, 2016

Medical demands of the increasingly aging population will boost the health care and social assistance sector, contributing substantially to the U.S. labor market. This Economy Matters article investigates where the jobs will be and looks at the balance between aging patients and an aging workforce.

Where Have All the Teen Workers Gone?

April 7, 2016

If you remember the job you held as a teenager, you might be part of a dwindling group. Fewer teens are entering the labor force today, and Economy Matters looks at some of the factors behind the decline.

The State of the States: Uneven Recovery and Tough First Quarters

March 18, 2016

How have states fared since the end of the recession? This Economy Matters article looks at state-level GDP data to find out.

Among Ugly Houses, Ours Is Prettiest

March 17, 2016

​ Soon after the release of Michael Lewis’s book The Big Short, some Fed economists wrote an analysis of the book for the Atlanta Fed’s Real Estate Research blog. Read about them here.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 4: Social Capital—The Battle Cry of the Gazelle

March 10, 2016

Founders of small businesses always have a vision for what they want to achieve, but they don’t always have all the answers. Economy Matters talked to some founders of gazelles—or fast-growing small businesses—about the role of mentors in establishing and building a business.

A Brighter Picture: Measuring Regional Variation in Labor Utilization

February 23, 2016

By some calculations, labor resource utilization rates across the United States still have not returned to prerecession levels. But according to this story in Economy Matters, the Atlanta Fed’s ZPOP measure paints a brighter picture.

Taking the Temperature of Real Estate

February 18, 2016

Regionally, the real estate sector has been important to the economy and has acted as a bellwether for other sectors, such as employment. In the new episode, two Atlanta Fed experts discuss real estate—and whether we’re in a new bubble.

Ask the Expert: An Interview with Stephen Kay

February 11, 2016

With the U.S. labor force aging and baby boomers moving into retirement, pensions have garnered much attention in recent years. Economy Matters spoke with an Atlanta Fed pension expert about the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Economists’ Views of The Big Short

February 4, 2016

​ Soon after the release of Michael Lewis’s book The Big Short, some Fed economists wrote an analysis of the book for the Atlanta Fed’s Real Estate Research blog. Read about them here.

U.S. and China Trade by the Numbers

February 4, 2016

​ Just as every picture tells a story, numbers can also be quite telling. Economy Matters has selected a few interesting integers about the trade relationship between the United States and China.

A Dinâmica Comercial e a China, 1ª Parte: Os Estados Unidos – Português

January 28, 2016

Quão atrelado ao desempenho econômico da China está o desempenho da economia dos EUA e o desempenho das economias em todo o mundo? Esta primeira parte de uma série de três artigos da Economy Matters lança uma luz sobre essa questão.

Trade Dynamics and China, Part 1: The United States

January 28, 2016

How tied up in China’s economic performance is the performance of the U.S. economy and the performance of economies around the world? This first installment of a three-part series in Economy Matters sheds some light on this issue.

Dinámica del Comercio Internacional y China, Parte 1: Los Estados Unidos – Espanõl

January 28, 2016

Cuál es el grado de asociación de la actividad económica en China y el desempeño de la economía Estados Unidos y del resto del mundo? Esta primera entrega de una serie de tres partes en Economy Matters arroja algo de luz sobre esta cuestión.

Lockhart: Economy Achieving Liftoff Conditions

January 14, 2016

In a recent speech, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart observed a number of improving economic barometers. Can a monetary policymaking move be far behind? Economy Matters summarizes his remarks.

Expecting Solid Growth, Lockhart Focusing on Inflation

January 14, 2016

Setting monetary policy requires an understanding of current conditions, but it also takes into account how policy changes reverberate down the road. Economy Matterslooks at recent remarks by Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart about considerations that go into the policymaking process.

Going Inside GDPNow

January 14, 2016

Since its 2014 debut, the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tool has compiled an impressive track record in estimating changes in the gross domestic product. In this episode, Atlanta Fed economist Pat Higgins, the creator of GDPNow, discusses the tool, how it works, and some of the challenges involved in measuring the economy.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 3: Financing the Herd

December 23, 2015

Founders of small businesses face innumerable challenges, chief among them financing. Economy Matters talked to some founders of gazelles–or fast-growing small businesses–about how they financed their endeavors and how financing affected their business strategies.

Of Cars and Capital Flows: Mexican Central Bank Leader Discusses Auto Production, Global Challenges

December 17, 2015

Mexico, one of the largest trading partners of the United States, has been experiencing significant economic changes. A representative of Mexico’s central bank recently visited the Atlanta Fed to discuss some of them, and Economy Matters recaps his remarks.

A Story in Charts: Who Works for Minimum Wage?

November 12, 2015

Most minimum wage workers work part-time. This week, Economy Matters tells a story of minimum wage workers in a series of charts.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 2: Why Gazelle Founders Set Sail

November 12, 2015

There are as many reasons for founding a business as there are businesses. Economy Matters talked to some founders of gazelles, or fast-growing small businesses, to learn their reasons for setting out on their own.

The Death of a Reserve Currency

November 12, 2015

The Dutch bank florin—the dominant currency in Europe during much of the 17th and 18th centuries—lost its reserve currency status during the period 1781–92. In this Economy Matters podcast, Atlanta Fed economist Will Roberds talks about the rise and fall of the currency and what lessons it holds for today’s central bankers.

Atlanta Fed’s Hotchkiss: Don’t Be Overly Alarmed by Shrinking Labor Force

November 5, 2015

Some economists have been fretting about the declining labor force participation rate. But how big a source of concern should it really be? Economy Matters looks at a recent examination of some trends to draw conclusions.

The Relationship between the Minimum Wage and Rates of Youth Drinking and Driving

October 15, 2015

If a young person gets a raise at work, could the extra money lead to increased reckless behavior such as drinking and driving? A new Economy Matters podcast discusses Atlanta Fed research into the question.

Atlanta Fed President Lockhart’s Economic Narrative Considers the Long View

October 15, 2015

Setting monetary policy requires an understanding of current conditions, but it also takes into account how policy changes reverberate down the road. Economy Matters looks at recent remarks by Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart about considerations that go into the policymaking process.

Tools for the Armchair Economist: Taking the Pulse of GDP

October 1, 2015

Gross domestic product, or GDP, is an important measure of the economy’s health. However, official figures are released with a delay, posing challenges in gauging current conditions. Economy Matters explores the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model, which provides several real-time forecasts each month.

Gender Equality Is Smart Economics, Expert Says

October 1, 2015

Economists often base decisions on efficiency, but does this sort of decision making consider its gender impact? Economy Matters sat in on a recent talk by an academic who discussed the question.

What History Can Teach Us about E-Money

October 1, 2015

Could government-issued and privately issued electronic money coexist? Based on the 1914 to 1934 experience in the United States, the answer is yes, according to an Atlanta Fed working paper. Economy Matters summarizes the paper.

A Story in Five Charts: Who Works Part-Time?

September 24, 2015

More than three-quarters of all part-time workers in the United States choose to work fewer hours. The remaining quarter are involuntary. Economy Matters tells you who the part-timers are and their reasons for working part-time.

Keeping Up with the Gazelles, Part 1: Is the Herd Thinning?

September 17, 2015

Young, high-growth companies—sometimes known as gazelles—have traditionally been an important source of job creation, but the number of U.S. start-ups is in long-term decline. Economy Matters looks at the impact a diminishing herd of gazelles could have on the employment market.

Tools for the Armchair Economist: What’s Your Number?

September 17, 2015

Track your own personalized level of inflation with myCPI, a new calculator from the Atlanta Fed that tailors the U.S. inflation measure to individual circumstances. Economy Matters introduces this tool for the “armchair economist.”

The Government’s Conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

September 17, 2015

When the U.S. housing market swooned in 2008, the housing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac became distressed and entered into a government conservatorship that was intended to be temporary. In this Economy Matters podcast, Atlanta Fed economist Scott Frame discusses the circumstances leading to the ongoing conservatorship.

How Was Steve Jobs Unlike Mark Twain? A Conversation with Economist David Galenson

September 10, 2015

Conceptually creative people do dramatic things, while experimentally creative people just keep working away, eventually accomplishing great things. Economist David Galenson posits two types of creativity, and argues for more research.

Tools for the Armchair Economist: Atlanta Fed Adds Wage Growth Tracker

September 3, 2015

Healthy wage growth has been an important missing ingredient in an otherwise strengthening economy. But recently, the Wage Growth Tracker, a new tool from the Atlanta Fed, showed a sharp rise in wages. Economy Matters introduces this tool for the “armchair economist.”

Ask the Economist

September 3, 2015

Atlanta Fed research director Dave Altig recently sat down with Economy Matters to discuss productivity, technological innovation, and the reasons he feels optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy.

Getting to the FOMC

August 20, 2015

All eyes have been on the Federal Open Market Committee as the central bank’s main policymaking body considers when to raise the federal funds rate for the first time since 2008.

The ABCs of the FOMC: Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart Discusses the Policymaking Process

August 20, 2015

Not many people get the opportunity to sit in on a meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. But in this debut Economy Matters podcast, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart, a voting member of the FOMC, takes us behind the scenes, describing how participants conduct deliberations, reach consensus, and cast votes on setting national monetary policy.

Wage Growth Is Intertwined with the Fed’s Dual Mandate

August 20, 2015

Wage growth matters to the Fed. Wages and broader labor costs are crucial to both components of the central bank’s dual mandate: price stability and maximum employment.

How Much Can Monetary Policy Do?

August 20, 2015

Through 2014, a range of indicators suggested that the underutilization of labor market resources gradually diminished. But how much labor market slack remains?

The Smallest of Small Firms: How Are They Financed?

August 20, 2015

Every business has to start somewhere, and most start with one employee. New Atlanta Fed research—summarized in this Economy Matters article—looks into how these firms—known as nonemployers—obtain financing.

Warren Buffett Says You Should Practice the 4 Habits That Separate The Best From The Rest

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett.

Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, turns 91 in August. Remarkably, at an age where most people’s cognitive functions have entirely regressed, where many are now at the hands of caretakers, Buffett still captures the world’s attention as the fifth richest person on the planet.

The greatest investor of this generation has amassed a following of millions who’ve learned, like Buffett, that long-term success is achieved by making smart decisions — in investing and in life.

Here are four Buffett lessons that will yield good returns when you choose to act on them.

1. Master the practice of “boundaries”

With all the demands on him every day, Buffett learned a long time ago that the greatest commodity of all is time. He simply mastered the art and practice of setting boundaries for himself. That’s why this Buffett quote remains a powerful life lesson. The mega-mogul said:

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.

Buffett’s advice is a bull’s-eye to our conscience. We have to know what to shoot for to simplify our lives. It means saying no over and over again to the unimportant things flying in our direction every day and remaining focused on saying yes to the few things that truly matter.

2. Invest in your personal development

What assets should you be investing in the most? In a 2019 interview, Buffett said: “By far the best investment you can make is in yourself.”

As Buffett has repeatedly taught us, it means to never stop acquiring knowledge — the kind of knowledge that betters yourself as a whole person, not just as an investor.

Buffett’s lifelong pursuit of learning, which he shares with his longtime Berkshire Hathaway partner and colleague Charlie Munger, is the secret sauce of his success.

3. Model the leadership behaviors of the best managers

In Buffett’s 2015 letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, he summarized how one arrives at leadership greatness in a few words:

Much of what you become in life depends on whom you choose to admire and copy.

The quote was in reference to Tom Murphy, who taught Buffett everything he learned about managing a company. Murphy, who was Buffett’s biggest admirer, gave plenty of lessons on the best management practices that Buffett has adapted for his own companies, including:

  • Give autonomy to workers.
  • Delegate your authority effectively and wisely.
  • Hire for integrity.

4. Build a positive reputation

Buffett’s reputation is founded on his principled and level-headed approach to his personal and professional life. When it comes to building a good reputation, these are some things worth prioritizing:

  • Establishing trust, transparency, and fairness
  • Offering good value and high-quality products and services
  • Treating people with dignity and respect
  • Communicating clearly and promptly
  • Providing a service to the community

You should treat your business practice as a reflection of yourself, and that means being thoughtful and considerate of how your decisions affect others. If you embrace professional opportunities as a chance to add value to your community, your reputation will reflect your own personal growth.

Source: Warren Buffett Says You Should Practice the 4 Habits That Separate the Best From the Rest | Inc.com

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