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|Articles - January 2014|
|Monday, December 09, 2013|
Research editors often toil, unsung, behind the scenes, gathering information and crunching numbers, while reporters who write the narrative stories grab the glitz and the glamour.
In honor of our annual Power Book issue, a research editor’s tour de force, let me bring OB Research Director Brandon Sawyer and the Power Book backstory into the limelight.
Compiling our annual book of lists requires impeccable research skills, a gracious customer service demeanor and meticulous attention to detail. Fortunately, Brandon, who has been putting together the industry rankings since 2001, possesses those qualities in spades.
“I have a memory for details and enjoy getting lost in them,” Brandon says. “I make sure every dot is included, the formatting is done to style and we don’t leave out any information.”
He takes me through some of the procedural highlights. One of the most important tasks is developing a ranking criterion for each industry that is at once accurate, relevant, and, equally important, realistic. “You have to have something companies are willing to disclose and that is fair,” he says.
For example: Our banking list is ranked according to dollar deposits; the university segment is based on enrollment; and health plans are organized according to number of members.
Ensuring companies and organizations respond to the survey is another challenge. So is verifying the accuracy of the information they provide. This year Brandon sent out about 5,000 surveys and thousands of emails, and he made hundreds of follow-up phone calls, a task that requires infinite patience, along with that gracious demeanor.
The Power Book process boils down to “triaging your resources,” Brandon says. But the payoff is worth it. “The most satisfying part is knowing the list is an accurate representation of industry in the state — that this is the right snapshot.”
A keepsake issue, the Power Book serves as an essential resource for businesses and a tool for companies to see how they stack up against their competitors.
This year’s Power Book also takes on new relevance. As documented in “Age of Disruption,” this month’s feature on the rapid changes upending society, mining masses of data is becoming an important part of business as usual. It’s called “big data,” the analysis of the unstructured data sets generated by financial transactions, medical records, mobile phones, etc.
Those who can make sense of that information are becoming the gatekeepers of a new era. “Data scientists,” proclaimed one source giddily, “are the new rock stars.”
Ah yes, the world, it seems, is awakening to what we here at Oregon Business have known for years. Behind every great project is a great data analyst, or, in our case, a great research director: Brandon Sawyer.
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE | ART DIRECTOR
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
We get the education we deserve.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS | CFA
On September 17, the much anticipated Fed decision was delivered and the equity markets haven't liked it.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY TIM NEVILLE
Betty Roppe steers Prineville into the future.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
The 2016 presidential election is shaping up to be the year of the outsider, with Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump capturing leads in the polls and the headlines. In Portland, Wheeler vs. Hales is bucking the outlier trend.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Oregon Business magazine has named the seventh annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon. The rankings were revealed Wednesday night during an awards dinner at the Sentinel Hotel in Portland.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY BEN WATERHOUSE
How Portland's Garden Bar plans to become the Starbucks of salad.
|The List: 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon|
|Run, Nick, Run|
|100 Best Nonprofits: Working for equality inside and out|
|One Tough Mayor|
|Cream of the Crop|
|Fare Thee Well, Company Town|
|Hiring report disappoints|
|Phil Knight memoir: Coming spring 2016|
|2 out of 5 millennials pay for their news|
|Oregon's graying workforce|
|How much did Bernie Sanders raise in Q3?|
|Federal regulators OK Jordan Cove LNG terminal|
|Amazon to emulate parts of Uber's model|
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