Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Traffic Counts in New York State

Statistics are provided by the state Department of Transportation at the link here. There are figures for the whole length of specific highways (file 1), and total highway mileage by counties and municipalities (file 2).

The third file is for Traffic Volume Report by County. This includes interstates and state roads. There are several streets that one may not consider a state road but are considered as such by DOT. They are often designated by a three-digit route number, followed by a letter.
The Harlem River Parkway in New York County is 907D; most “parkways” are numerically designated. Old Route 16 in Erie County is 951V; many “old route” numbers have new numbers. Fort Drum Access Roads #1 and #2 in Jefferson County are 971Q and 971V, respectively; access roads and service roads are often noted numerically.
Even named streets are sometimes given route numbers. For instance, Wolf Road in Albany County is 910B. Albany Avenue in Ulster County has three different numbers, 981M, 983F, and 983G.
The fourth file is for Local Traffic Volume by County, broken down by town or city.
You will note that, while some counts are fairly recent, some are more than ten years old, especially the local ones. This is often a function of cost-cutting measures by municipalities.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Research Network interns

For the next few months, we're lucky to have the services of not one but two interns from the School of Information Science & Policy at the University at Albany. One is Jessica Allard, and the other is Frank Fotia. They will be here three days a week until July or so. In time, some of you will likely see their names on memos attached to research, or you might hear them take a request from you over the phone. In addition, they'll be learning the mechanics behind how we operate and manage our active business library. Both are bright and engaging people, and we look forward to learning some new tricks of the trade from them!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Most Expensive ZIP Codes 2005

Here at the Research Network we often get research requests from advisers working with clients selling "upscale" products. Finding markets for such products can be a challenge. Forbes Magazine annually does an analysis of ZIP codes to find the ones where home prices were the highest last year. This year's list features three ZIP codes in New York State:
  • #5, 11765, Mill Neck, Long Island
  • #11, 11568, Old Westbury on Long Island
  • #13, 10013, the neighborhood known as TriBeCa in Manhattan

The complete list in an easily-printed format is available at http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/2005/04/22/cx_sc_0426homep.html?boxes=custom. Note: whether customers can afford your client's product is only one part of the equation. What will make them buy?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Marketing Tip Sites

We all have our own spin on things and I am no different. Everyone tends to have a type of request they favor... or not. I started my career as a librarian working in an advertising firm and so I am sympathetic to our clients who often need marketing and promotional ideas for their businesses and look to us to offer suggestions.

In my travels, I have found a few sites that while not limited to a specific industry or sector are useful to all business owners. My feeling is that our clients, like most people, want advice that is easy to read and understand. There are many, many sites offering advice but these are a few you may want to check out.

http://www.psychotactics.com/psycho.htm PsychoTactics: Unlocking the mystery of business brain
Interesting articles on what makes us tick…and shop. Some good things for business owners to think about to help understand their customers.

http://www.knowthis.com/ KnowThis: Knowledge source for marketing
A good site for overview articles on marketing and marketing research. A bit more sober than others I've seen but quite good.

http://www.lapidaryjournal.com/touchstone/may03ts.cfm Lapidary Journal /Touchstone
This is a site aimed at jewelers but has articles that would be quite useful to any business owner. Most articles don't overtly mention the industry but talk about techniques and venues generally.

http://www.doctorebiz.com/05/020508a.htm Web Marketing Today Free Weekly
Practical advice for the web. Occasionally I throw in articles about specific issues or might just copy the first page to remind people what kind of coverage is available. I imagine when clients start to establish a web presence, they need to think about a new set of issues they may not be familiar with.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Geo within Geo

As the Research Network's representative to the State Data Center, I often receive helpful hints at their meetings and on the SDC listserv. This particular hint saved me a LOT of labor:

When looking for information on the American FactFinder section of the Census page, you may have need to find all of a smaller geography within a larger geography, such as all the cities in Westchester County. For many tables in the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey, such as Detailed Tables, Custom Tables, and Quick Tables, click on the Geo within Geo tab. In this example, select all the places in Westchester County. You'll get a list of CDPs (Census Designated Places), villages, and cities, all very clearly marked, and you will be able to create the data you want. Unfortunately, the Census page does not designate places by county, so this tool will keep you from pulling out a map of Westchester County, and trying to figure out which places are cities, like I did before discovering this much easier method.

If you'd like me to walk you through a demonstration, call me at X 137.

Blogging with the RN

We were taught to share when we were kids. We were taught to do research when adults. The Research Network does the latter every day, uncovering useful bits of information and sending it to a specific advisor for a specific client. However, what's good for someone in, say, Jamestown ought to be good for someone in Plattsburgh, or Farmingdale, or at any of our centers. Recognizing this, the Research Network has created this blog as a way to inform the New York SBDC community on the kinds of things we encounter every day: interesting books, useful Web sites, articles we come across . . . anything that INFORMS. Come back often - if you can't visit every day, the postings will be archived by subject for future reference. Also, feel free to respond to a posting - there's a lot we can learn from you, too. There'll be a new posting every Monday through Thursday! Be well, and don't forget to share.