Blog 02/13/2019

Welcome to Forward Analytics

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines forward as “of, relating to, or getting ready for the future,” and analytics as “the method of logical analysis.” Thus, we can infer that forward analytics means “getting ready for the future using logical analysis.”

But Forward Analytics, the new research arm of the Wisconsin Counties Association (WCA), aims to be much more than that. On the front page we have a chart showing the recent decline in the number of births in Wisconsin. That chart is part of a report we will be publishing exploring birth rates in Wisconsin and in its 72 counties.

We will be following that up with reports on migration and on the attraction/retention of millennials. Local officials will be able to put all of this research together and map out what their county, city, or state might look like 10 years from now. That’s exciting.

But our research will be much broader than that. The fiscal health of state government is something that is often misunderstood. We will address that. Job creation – how much and where – is another important topic that we will address. We want to be your go-to source for quality, objective, nonpartisan research on a variety of topics affecting Wisconsin.

We are also creating a “data lab,” which is a repository for a variety of data public officials and citizens often seek. Rather than head to the federal U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) for personal income figures or Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for job numbers, the Wisconsin DHS for birth data, we will compile the data and make it available in easy-to-use forms.

As Director of Forward Analytics, I am truly excited about this new venture. I bring 20 years of economic and public policy analysis to WCA and to Forward Analytics, including 18 with the well-respected Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. I hope you will visit us often.

Dale Knapp
Forward Analytics Director