When the Austin Technology Council (ATC) asked Civic Analytics to present at its 2013 CEO Summit, the request seemed simple: quantify the Austin-area technology sector’s size and its impact on the local economy. We were quite surprised these figures didn’t exist already, but quickly discovered why. To measure something you must first define its parameters, and there was no broadly accepted definition of “the Austin technology sector.” So, using Tech America’s definition as a starting point, we worked with ATC members to finally achieve local industry consensus on, “What is technology?” and “What is Austin’s place in the national tech landscape?”
By analyzing public and proprietary data, we determined the technology sector accounts for 21 percent of Central Texas’ gross regional product (GRP) and contributes $21 billion in direct value to the local economy. This gave Central Texas technology CEOs and economic developers solid numbers to point to as they work together to grow the industry’s presence in the region.
President Obama cited our findings during his May 2013 visit to Austin, which led to follow-up stories by several media outlets. This helped establish ATC as a national thought leader on how the tech sector is driving the region’s economic development. And the organization has engaged Civic Analytics as its ongoing, in-house research partner.