Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, CARMA 2018 - 2nd International Conference on Advanced Research Methods and Analytics

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Digital Vapor Trails: Using Website Behavior to Nowcast Entrepreneurial Activity
Timothy F. Slaper, Alyssa Bianco, Peter E. Lenz

Last modified: 11-07-2018


Following recent research, we explore virtually contemporaneous, and geographically granular, user online activity related to entrepreneurship. In this paper, we present evidence that data harvested by Dstillery can complement efforts of, and data collected by, government agencies and organizations advocating for entrepreneurship, business formation and economic growth, e.g., the Kauffman Foundation. Our website-based behavior data is close to real time and at a geographically granular level. We find that the concentration of a region’s visits to website resources for entrepreneurship and business development are statistically related to business start-up and, particularly, growth activity. Visits to websites related to entrepreneurship are more strongly associated with growth entrepreneurship, in contrast to start-up entrepreneurship. While data capture and analysis related to entrepreneurship website activity is in its infancy, this analysis points to the potential of this data source to nowcast business formation and growth at a regional level.

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