Central Mass By the Numbers

Making sense of the numbers

Last year, when I was hired to be the editor of the Worcester Business Journal, there was a three-week period in September and October where I was shuffling back and forth between my new job at WBJ and my old managing editor job at Hartford Business Journal, which is owned by the same company.

On the very first day after I emerged from this two-job extravaganza, Research Director Stephanie Meagher – who herself was less than a month on the job – came in to my office wanting to know about Central Mass. By The Numbers. Since no publication like it existed at HBJ, I had never heard of it prior to this meeting. Yet, Stephanie wanted to know what exactly I wanted to change from the previous year: which charts should be included or discarded, what new data we wanted, what needed to be updated and what didn't, and how it all should be presented in the print publication. And, by the way, the data usually takes a month to compile, and we were less than three weeks from the press date.
Completely in the dark prior to the meeting about this publication and faced with the typical mountain of work that accompanies any new job, I made the decision to simply update all the By The Numbers data from 2014.

Over the course of the last year, we have updated all of WBJ's publications for a more modern reading style, including a redesign of the typical WBJ pub, along with all the special editions and sections, and at last, we come back full circle to By The Numbers. This is one of three data-heavy publications WBJ publishes annually, along with Book of Lists in July and Economic Forecast in December. The trick with the data-heavy ones is honoring the original intent of providing raw market intelligence while updating the look and feel of the publication so all that data doesn't run together for the reader.

Now, with apt time to prepare, we have made those updates. The same charts and graphics full of Central Mass business information is there, but we've add a little more context with stories, Q&As and elaborate headlines to cut to exactly what all this data says and means for the region. By The Numbers is still a publication that can sit around your office for a year as a resource for all sorts of business information, but that intel is provided in a better context.

— Brad Kane, Editor

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