What is InformAnalytics?

InformAnalytics is a cost benefit analysis tool designed for economic development professionals to quickly and reliably assess the direct and spillover economic impacts of a proposed project. The tool models costs (incentives to the client such as PILOTs, reduced rate bonds, etc.) against the benefits (the economic return in terms of jobs, labor income, sales, property and income tax) and produces easy to read reports. The tool is fully customizable with appropriate tax rates and economic multipliers that are unique to your region. In less than five minutes you can know the impact that a proposed project will have on your region and offer your board or the client a report to help put their investment in context.

What is the value of InformAnalytics if we already have our own method of evaluating the merits of a project?

Consistency; Objectivity; Transparency. InformAnalytics provides consistent and transparent methodology to each project that it analyzes. This assures decision makers and even the public that incentives are being applied to worthy projects that have been vetted according to reliable criteria. InformAnalytics also serves as an outside objective arbiter providing added assurance that projects have undergone rigorous scrutiny prior to being awarded incentives.

Statewide associations of industrial/economic development agencies can particularly benefit from knowing that each of their members is evaluating new projects in a standard, objective and reliable manner.

What benefits does InformAnalytics capture?

Many cost/benefit analysis tools, particularly those that have been developed ad hoc, only count "direct" benefits from a proposed project. InformAnalytics counts the direct benefits as well as the indirect and induced benefits from the proposed project. The model does this using IMPLAN’s input/output tables to identify regional multipliers.

Can InformAnalytics be customized?

CGR’s team of experts will customize InformAnalytics to meet your needs. Not only can we customize the "feel" of it, we can tailor the data fields to address common concerns. We'll explore each request and identify the best solutions for your needs.

How long will it take to enter a project?

Provided you have the data at your fingertips, data entry can take less than five minutes. Most of our clients tailor their application for a new project to mirror the data that is entered into the InformAnalytics model.

Are there limits on the number of projects we can enter?

There are no limits on the number of projects or on the number of edits that can be made to an already entered project.

Are there limits on the number of users that can access InformAnalytics from one office?

InformAnalytics will be customized with unique logins and passwords for each staff person that you want to access the model. There are no limits on the number of logins that can be created.

Can we edit a project once we have created it?

There are many variables in a project and InformAnalytics allows you to edit any project to see the impact of any change in a given variable.

Does InformAnalytics account for equalization of assessed valuation?

InformAnalytics has been customized to factor in the equalization rates for each municipality. A fair valuation of the benefits of a proposed project must account for the equalization of assessed valuation.

Does InformAnalytics count the impact for only one year?

InformAnalytics has developed its model to look at the present value of the future stream of payments from a given project. Typically this is done over 10 years, but in some cases a graduated abatement the schedule might be 15 or 20 years. Using a predetermined inflation (discount) factor, InformAnalytics captures present value benefit over the full life of schedule. Many of our customers are amazed to see the present value of the benefits they can expect to receive from a project over the next 10-20 years.

The present value calculations use a 10-year period and 3.49% discount rate. How did you choose those assumptions?

The discount factor is based loosely on historical averages for inflation. The time horizon is dictated by the user based on the type of abatement plan/schedule that is chosen. The default in most schedules is 10 years but it is fully customizable and could be 15 or 20 years.

What is the underlying economic input-output model? Is it a standard model (such as RIMS-II)?

We use IMPLAN as the basis for our economic modeling. We create custom multipliers for each client to capture their specific region.

How does InformAnalytics account for abatements?

InformAnalytics is designed to accommodate either predefined or customizable abatement schedules. CGR’s team of experts will work to set up the most commonly used abatement schedules in InformAnalytics for recurring use. A fully customizable option allows users to define the schedule for any given project if it falls outside of the norm.