99 years of economic insights for Indiana

The IBR is a publication of the Indiana Business Research Center at IU's Kelley School of Business.

Executive Editor, Carol O. Rogers
Managing Editor, Brittany L. Hotchkiss

Innovation 2.0 – What’s in your wallet?

Director of Economic Analysis, Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University Kelley School of Business

Deputy Director, Indiana Business Research Center, Indiana University Kelley School of Business

stats screen shotIs your region innovative? How does your economic landscape compare to your peers?

The new Innovation Index 2.0 can help answer those and many other questions. The II 2.0 is a web resource that can give economic development practitioners and other regional leadership the ability to assess their economic strengths and challenges, in addition to their capacity for innovation.

“Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.”

Peter Drucker

The new II 2.0 is more comprehensive than the earlier innovation index. II 2.0 expands on the previous index by adding more than 50 new measures. Like the first version, these data are all at the county level and can be aggregated to a regional level based on the user’s needs. These measures reflect contemporary research on understanding and measuring innovation. For example, II 2.0 includes measures that take into account regional knowledge spillovers, technology diffusion and foreign direct investment.

Both the II 2.0 and economic development related web tools that are available on StatsAmerica.org were developed and built by the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) at Indiana University with funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”


The Innovation Index 2.0 provides a set of analytic tools and data that can help regional leaders reach a strong consensus on their region’s strategic direction. Data and analysis can inform stakeholders’ collective action toward a common vision and can guide complex decision-making at a regional-level by identifying region’s capabilities, shortfalls and potential.

Data-driven regional development strategies require data and not all regions’ economic development commissions or business associations can afford data and analysis from data vendors. The IBRC, thanks to the EDA, provides these data and resources at no cost to the user.

The tool is engineered for drilling down into detailed data as well as cross-regional analysis. Users can focus on a single area (Overview) or a multi-area comparison (Comparisons). A nationwide mapping widget allows you to see every county or region in a heat map style—even allowing the user to select a county or region as the “comparison point,” against which all other counties are then measured.

The user can compare a county or region side-by-side with other, similar geographic units, and capture the data in a spreadsheet or pdf. The index values and ranks can be downloaded by county, metro area and Economic Development District (EDD).

The headline index is calculated from five major index categories (three based on innovation inputs and two based on innovation outputs). The structure and the calculation of the index is hierarchical, or built up pyramid-like, from a large foundation of data to the single headline index. The “headline” index—the one, high-level summary index—is comprised of five major categorical indexes organized thematically. Those five major indexes are built up from several core indexes that are built up from several measures that are also organized thematically along more precisely defined concepts. Those measures are directly tied to the raw data, most of which can be accessed on the StatsAmerica.org website.

map screenshot

Indexes present complex data simply, somewhat like a dashboard gauge. Understanding what the dashboard is showing was the main focus of the webinar on February 2, 2017. In this webinar, we showed how to compare a country/metro/EDD against other benchmark or peer regions that share similar characteristics. The Map Tool can be used to view, spatially, each one of the Innovation metrics, such as STEM, prime working age population, per capita income or business incubators spillover effects.


For more details on how the II 2.0 was built and how to use and understand it, please refer to the report available at www.statsamerica.org/ii2/reports/Driving-Regional-Innovation.pdf.