ROUNDUP: Impact DashBoard Confidential

A big thank you to everyone who was able to tune in to one or more of the webinars in our series, Impact DashBoard Confidential. During the webinar series, several Impact DashBoard users shared insights on how they use the online impact model to advance economic development in their community. They also described some best practices that work for their organization and community. Below, you can find a list of guest speakers, key takeaways, and videos of their presentations.

Special guests included:

Jenny Philip, Greater Houston Partnership

Ann Miller, Buda EDC

Christina Morris, Osceola County, FL Board of County Commissioners

Jeff Pipkin, Hendricks County, IN ED Partnership

Jason Greiner, Wylie EDC

Jenny Philip, Greater Houston Partnership

Key Takeaways:

  • The Greater Houston Partnership (GHP) uses Impact DashBoard to generate detailed impacts for all taxing jurisdictions and also because it gives a third party stamp of validity to the analysis.
  • Your final impacts are only as good as the data you enter in. The majority of the work you’ll be doing is gathering accurate data before running the project through the model.
  •  Users receive a data sheet that they can send the company or site consultant. The data sheet can be sent directly through the web application, or can be in the form of an Excel sheet.
  • When sending a data form to a prospect, be sure to clarify what you mean by “Location” and “NAICS Code.”
  • Make sure you give the prospect sufficient time to gather data and complete the data form. This may be the longest element of the analytical process.
  • For the GHP, critical pieces of data needed to run a project through the model include: address, project description, job creation numbers, salaries associated with those jobs, capital investment, and industry code.
  • The GHP likes to share two specific tables from the Detailed Report with their various stakeholders: Fiscal Impact Overview and Net Benefits Over the Next 10 Years for Local Taxing Districts.
  • Jenny emphasizes that you need to know and understand the assumptions (the “gear” icon at the top right of the page when you’re in a project). You’ll be held accountable for what assumptions are used when presenting the project data.

Ann Miller, Buda EDC

Key Takeaways:

  • Buda EDC uses Impact DashBoard for transparency and accountability.
  • Buda EDC receives data through their Incentive Application, RFPs from the state and region, and through leads and RFPs from consultants.
  • Key data Ann needs to input in order to receive a more accurate report includes: jobs, wages, and capital investment.
  • Gathering the information is the longest part of the process for Buda EDC. It takes Ann about 5-20 minutes to compile the information to put in Impact DashBoard once she has received data from the prospect. It takes her about 3 minutes to enter it into Impact DashBoard, depending on the complexity of the project.
  • Buda EDC uses Impact DashBoard on every project where incentives are in play.
  • In the past, Buda EDC received pushback and questions from the community and stakeholders before they began using Impact DashBoard. Since licensing the model, they receive no pushback and very few questions since the detailed report has all the information that they need to know.
  • Buda EDC shares project reports with: (1) Incentive Taskforce, (2) EDC Board/City Council, (3) Public/News Media (after incentive agreement has been approved), and (4) School District (after incentive agreement has been approved).
  •  Impact DashBoard has helped Buda EDC take the politics out of Economic Development by generating a report showing the EDC’s performance over the past 10 years. This report compiled all of the projects that the EDC has worked on during that same time frame and showed how much property taxable value the projects have brought to the city and the school district. They also calculated what the property tax rate would have to be for the city and school district to receive the same revenue if those projects did not exist.

Buda EDC Resources:

Christina Morris, Osceola County, FL Board of County Commissioners

Key Takeaways:

  • The Osceola County Board of County Commissioners uses Impact DashBoard to understand a project’s impact on local government, show ROI on potential incentives, give third-party validation, and because the model is user friendly.
  • They use the model on traditional ED projects (i.e. headquarter, distribution), tourism related projects, and all projects requesting incentives.
  • The most important information that Christina’s organization needs in order to run a report is: jobs, average wages, and capital investment.
  • Christina finds it helpful having the ability to run different scenarios of a project in Impact DashBoard.
  •  Most often, Christina only shows the Summary Report to County administration. They mostly keep the reports internally and do not share them with the public.
  • The User Guide is very helpful in understanding the formulas and how the results were configured.
  • There is an ability to overwrite assumptions in the model, which Christina has found to be helpful when special projects arise.

Jeff Pipkin, Hendricks County, IN ED Partnership

Key Takaways:

  • Hendricks County ED Partnership uses Impact DashBoard because it helps in illustrating the direct, indirect, and induced impact of potential projects. Also, the compiled reports help to show the impact that Jeff’s organization is having in the community. Jeff pulls together information from all of the generated project reports that they’ve worked on throughout the year to present to their Board and Investors at their Annual Meeting.
  • Impact DashBoard has been helpful in creating the Partnership’s five year campaign. They analyzed what the projects their department has worked on over the past five years have brought to the County and what their potential impact will be in the future.
  • Hendricks County ED Partnership uses the model 15-20 times per year.
  • Jeff’s organization receives 30% of leads/projects from the state and 30% of leads/projects from brokers.
  • The residential development section of the report is very important for the school districts in Hendricks County.
  • Jeff uses the Summary Report when generally presenting the project and sometimes use the Detailed Report when presenting to an individual.

Jason Greiner, Wylie EDC

Key Takeaways:

  • Wylie EDC uses the model to show that they’re being diligent with taxpayer dollars as they relate to incentives.
  • Rather than sending a prospect a data sheet to fill out, Jason has conversations with the prospect like they would if it were a BRE visit. Jason also goes back and tries to qualify the information before entering the data into the model.
  • Using Impact DashBoard, Jason shows what the loss will be if Wylie loses both Recruitment and BRE projects.
  • When Wylie EDC began their license, they went back and ran past projects through the model, as well.
  • When running a mixed use project, Jason added each different element (office, retail, etc.) as a new scenario, then rolled up all of the scenarios to see what the impact of the whole development would be.