How does a research office demonstrate economic, technological, and social impact? Given the high expectations placed on research parks in terms of innovative capability and economic impact, being able to automate data management and reporting is crucial to identifying whether current efforts and programs are effective. However, for many offices, this is a difficult task as much of the needed data is siloed in multiple note-taking tools, email clients, spreadsheets, and other ad hoc tools. Under these conditions data analysis is difficult and streamlining workflows nearly impossible.
With reporting being crucial to the success of every research park, technology accelerator, and economic development office, many teams struggle with meeting compliance requirements and effectively corralling all of the data points into one manageable system. For some offices, this proves difficult, as antiquated systems and poor data management lead to compliance requirements are missed, payment deadlines are unnoticed, and offices do not have deep insight into how their incubator companies are functioning. Under these kinds of circumstances, it becomes very difficult for offices to engage in data driven decisionmaking as the data just isn’t there.
There are immense benefits to be gained by creating a centralized and automated system of record. Offices can manage their client records, capture critical input from subject matter experts and use all other data in combination to effectively track company performance, needs, and growth across its entire lifecycle. This further creates efficiencies in compliance and other business support tasks, as offices no longer need to dig for the data in order to audit their records. With a centralized database, offices can easily plug into financial and IP systems in order to sync data and compliance across the entire organization and its functions.
The key benefit of this approach is that through a centralized and automated system, offices can scale their activities without the need for increases in staffing. By decreasing the amount of human labor involved in tedious office management tasks, offices can focus on more productive work.
By focusing on implementing new best practices and modern systems of record, research park offices can significantly increase their output and be more effective as a whole.