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Vegas analysts launch new data research website

A Las Vegas firm has launched a first-of-its-kind online research program that lets businesses and consumers see real-time trends in economic and social indicators.

MyResearcher, a project of economic-analysis firm Applied Analysis, could mean more focused marketing strategies for businesses, as well as a more efficient way to meet social-services needs, firm executives say.

“It takes what Applied Analysis has done for the past 18 years and brings it to an entirely different level,” its principal, Jeremy Aguero, said. “I would love to believe we’re adding value for existing clients, and creating something for people who are not clients but who need access to data more than ever to help them do what they do better than ever.”

MyResearcher tracks about 77,000 local, state and federal indicators ranging from bankruptcy filings and existing-home prices to casino earnings and planned office space. Those data sets already exist on the Internet, but separately. Through MyResearcher, users can set up Web-based dashboards that track specific statistics they want. A furniture retailer could monitor local home closings, population growth and taxable retail sales. A nonprofit group could see how many Nevadans are Medicaid-eligible.

The idea is to get away from quarterly or monthly reports that are often outdated by the time they reach decision makers, Aguero said.

Users can also set up email alerts that tell them when new numbers are in, and generate presentations with the data.

“What often took staff hours or even days to collect and update now happens instantly, or can be compiled in minutes,” Aguero said.

It took Applied Analysis two years to develop MyResearcher. The firm updates data manually, by having staffers input new numbers, and automatically, with a software program that constantly crawls the Internet for changing figures.

Subscribers get a seven-day free trial. After that, it’s $400 a year or $40 per month.

Clients include businesses and government agencies in Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Houston and Boston. Nevada clients include the state Gaming Control Board, the Bentley Group Real Estate Advisors, the UNLV Grant Academy and Hard Rock Cafe.

Although many users are businesses, Aguero said he sees MyResearcher as more than a marketing tool.

“We could really do some great things that help make our community a better place,” Aguero said.

Consider the governor’s economic development office, which uses MyResearcher for a Web page that lets companies compare business statistics in Las Vegas versus cities such as Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Companies can weigh data on everything from personal income to industrial natural-gas rates.

Or a nonprofit organization might see a sudden spike in homeless children, which would prompt it to target that issue in grant applications.

On the business side, Greg Thomas used MyResearcher for two years as general manager of Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.

“This town is constantly moving in terms of trends in travel and demographics. We have to be ahead of the curve,” Thomas said. “I like MyResearcher because I haven’t ever seen a one-stop tool that you can customize.”

Thomas said he used the program to track international air traffic and local restaurant sales.

He saw an increase in visitors from Brazil, and marshaled his sales staff to grab business there before it got here and went to his competitors.

“It’s kind of like the Oakland A’s have ‘Moneyball,’ where they can see certain players to put their money on. This is the same thing, for marketing,” Thomas said.

Thomas is using MyResearcher to open Yardbird at The Venetian. The Miami-based restaurant will target conventioneers.

“I think (MyResearcher) can help any business that wants to know where they stand versus the competition. You can’t just put your marketing dollars wherever,” he said. “When you have this much data, you can be more strategic in how you put that money out there.”

Contact Jennifer Robison at jrobison@reviewjournal.com. Follow @J_Robison1 on Twitter.

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