YTS stands for “Your-economy Time Series”, a database compiled by the Business Dynamics Research Consortium (BDRC), which is housed at the University of Wisconsin System Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship in Madison, Wisconsin. YTS contains annual, establishment-level, time-series data on companies that are considered to be “in-business” in a given year. In order to be considered an “in-business” company, an establishment must have intent on conducting commercial activities in that year. Businesses included in YTS are for-profit (both private and public), nonprofit, and government establishments. The YTS database provides access to information regarding employment trends, establishment-level affiliations, relocation, and industrial sectors in any geographical area.
Following Businesses Through Time
YTS is assembled from annual Data Axle Business Data historical files. This “snapshot” includes the full calendar year to ensure the most accurate account of active establishments. Starting in 2020, BDRC now receives over 75 million establishment records on a quarterly basis, which are used to assemble YTS (annual and quarterly) using the unique ID, ABI (American Business Identifier), to link all historical files together. Each year 168 time-series variables, including BDRC uniquely assembled variables, are assembled from the original Data Axle data variables. Because YTS is transparent, BDRC works continuously to verify establishments each year, focusing on improving corporate linkages between companies.
Transparent, Verifiable Data
Data Axle data is compiled with self-reported statistics by contacting over 60,000 businesses daily to verify company information. Data Axle invests “more than $25 million annually and employ[s] more than 400 full-time researchers to compile and verify the information” in the database.
Compiling the Time-Series Data
BDRC compiles all yearly snapshots and links businesses using the unique ABI (American Business Identifier) number for each listing. This creates a time-series database of active companies for the years after 1997. BDRC then adds more time-series variables to the data, derived from the original Data Axle variables. BDRC also removes “gaps” in missing years of data for an individual establishment by “rolling” values for existing years into the next or previous year. With over 15 years of experience working with self-reported time-series data, BDRC has developed a set of algorithms that pores through the time-series data once assembled, finding and verifying potential outliers across a broad range of data relationships. Overall, less than 3% of the YTS data is affected.
BDRC is a public-private, non-profit, nonpartisan research institute devoted to the study of business performance and economic growth. Operated as a research consortium at the University of Wisconsin System Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship, BDRC is committed to creating data resources and data-driven insights that stimulate research on individual business performance and its impact on overall economic growth. BDRC’s compilation of multiple databases on business and economic activity is intended to create a comprehensive and accessible database of data on the U.S. economy, and in the process attract and serve diverse research initiatives across multiple disciplines and academic institutions.
Pioneer’s Work with the Data
Pioneer Institute then aggregates and visualizes this data using various software, including Qlik Sense, Tableau, and Microsoft Excel. Most of the core summary statistics, such as the number of employees over time, are extracted directly from Pioneer’s interactive tool, MassEconomix. All sector codes used in compiling this report are from the North American Industry Classification System, and any population figures referenced are from the U.S. Census Bureau.
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