Research & Data

Friday, August 23, 2019
Blockchain Beyond the Hype

Since its introduction a decade ago, few things have been surrounded by as much hype as bitcoin and the crypto currencies. Investor speculation in these crypto currencies has captured headlines and led to wild swings in value. Today, the market capitalization of crypto currencies sits at $248 billion.    

But crypto currencies are only one application of blockchain - a revolutionary technology that is poised to change the world of business. Joe Fuqua, chief data scientist for Midtown Consulting Group, provided an introduction to "Blockchain: Beyond the Hype" Thursday as part of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliances Data and Analytics Lunch and Learn Series.

While blockchain enables bitcoin and other crypto currencies, the underlying technology has many more applications that cut across all industries. Said simply, blockchain restores trust in untrusted environments. Instead of one central clearing house validating information exchange, a decentralized network of peers validates transactions and stores that information as part of a chain, which in turn can be verified by peers in the network. Bitcoin and other crypto currencies operate on open blockchains, but closed blockchains can allow businesses to create their own digitized validation procedures to improve contracts, supply chains and payments, while allowing access only to necessary partners. One example is shipping company Maersk's TradeLens, which uses IBM blockchain technology to empower multiple trading partners, like shipping agents, banks, port managers and other to share a single view of the supply chain. 

Companies in the finance, HR, staffing, Internet of Things and health care industries have also implemented blockchain solutions. In health care, blockchain, paired with other technological advances such as artificial intelligence, holds potential for early disease detection by integrating data from across the spectrum of providers from doctors, radiologists, lab techs and researchers.    

Blockchain is still in its infancy, and there are many more applications to come. 


Posted by: Chuck McShane - Vice President, Business Analytics and Data @ 9:35:00 am  Comments (0)
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
54 Charlotte Region Companies Make INC 5000

Tech and construction-related businesses are growing fast in Charlotte, as the 2019 INC 5000 list released Wednesday confirms. Of the 54 Charlotte Region companies that made the list this year, 15 are software or IT services-based and another 11 are in construction. A glance at the top 5 companies shows the diversity of successful companies in the region. 

  1. Power Home Solar, a Mooresville solar construction company at 100. 
  2. Clean Juice, an organic juice bar chain based in Charlotte at 431
  3. Saprex, a Gaston County specialty composite fabric maker and R&D operation at 489
  4. Levvel, a Charlotte tech consultancy at 559. 
  5. Printful, a Latvian-owned custom printing business at 564. 

Fintechs AvidXchange (2,243) and Passport (832) as well as analytics company Tresata (1,729) also made the list, while Kingsmen Software (1,601) was a newcomer in the tech category. Hickory logistics company Transportation Insight (3,596) made the list for the 12th year in a row.  

Marketing consultancies Bespoke Sports and Entertainment (1,574); Union (2,419); and Scott Brown Media Group (3,189) were among three Advertising and Marketing companies to make the list this year. That's up from just one marketing company on the list last year and further evidence of Charlotte's rapid growth in the Marketing and Public Relations field. Alliance research found Charlotte to have the fastest-growing sector in the country since 2001.   

Check the interactive map below for more details on Charlotte Region companies that made the list. 


Posted by: Chuck McShane - Vice President, Business Analytics and Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Friday, August 9, 2019
Global Growth: One Company at a Time

Exciting news for the Charlotte region this week when Printful, a custom on-demand printing company, announced a new 53,000 sq. ft. facility in Charlotte that will create 100 jobs. Printful’s expansion underscores the growth of e-commerce and Charlotte’s strategic location for international companies in the U.S.

Printful was the first Latvian company to open in the region and it’s already outpaced the 200 HQ and manufacturing jobs it announced in 2016, employing 300. The addition of 100 distribution jobs come as the logistics and distribution industry continues to grow in the region.

Visit here for more insights on the region’s 1,000+ international business.

Posted by: Charlotte Regional Business Alliance @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, August 16, 2018
More Charlotte companies make INC 5000

More fast-growing companies are calling Charlotte home. Fifty-two Charlotte-area companies made the INC 5000 list in 2018. That’s up from 44 in 2017.

The list ranks companies by their three-year revenue growth rates.

Software developers such as Passport and PCI Group as well as technology consultants such as Levvel and Cloud Genera are prominent on the list, one indicator of Charlotte’s booming tech talent sector.

Other well-represented sectors on the list – construction, restaurants and building services – relate to Charlotte’s rapid residential and commercial growth.

Take a look at the interactive map below for more details.

Posted by: Chuck McShane - Vice President, Business Analytics and Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Charlotte - 3rd Fastest Growing Big City in United States

Charlotte is once again among the top three fastest growing big cities in the country, and the city's suburbs are growing fast, too. The city of Charlotte remained the 17th largest city in the nation with nearly 860,000 people as of July 2017, according to U.S. Census estimates released this week. Only two other Top 25 cities - Seattle and Fort Worth, Tex. - surpassed Charlotte's 1.8 percent growth rate.

And growth in the suburbs was just as strong. Fort Mill, S.C., was the No. 1 fastest growing town with a population of more than 15,000. Fort Mill added 2,400 people for a nearly 16% growth rate during the year.  

In real terms, that means Charlotte welcomed 15,551 new residents - either people moving here or being born here - this year. That ranks No. 7 among all cities and faster than Denver (9,844), Washington (9,636), San Francisco (8,260), New York (7,272) and Boston (6,664). Charlotte's growth pattern was similar to Columbus, Ohio, a city of 879,000 which added slightly less than 15,500 people. 

Newcomers seeking lower cost of living and higher quality of life are driving the continued growth of Charlotte. The city's larger geographic footprint than many older industrial cities, where most growth occurs in the suburbs, is also a factor in the ranking. And while more people are still settling within the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, a booming housing market has shifted some growth to the suburbs. In 2017, the City of Charlotte's growth accounted for about 32 percent of the total metro area's growth of 49,000 people. In 2012, the city accounted for 49 percent of the metro area's growth. 

Southern and Western cities showed the largest gains, while two Midwestern cities - Detroit and Chicago - lost population.  Broadening the scope to all cities of 50,000 or more, Midwestern cities such as Illinois and Ohio - despite the the success of Columbus - were hard-hit with population loses. Cities in Deep South states such as Mississippi and Louisiana also lost population.   

Other towns and cities in the Charlotte area also showed strong growth. Concord added 2,300 people, a 2.6% rise; Gastonia added 1,468 people (+2%) and Huntersville added nearly 1,100 (+1.9%). Across the border, Rock Hill, S.C., added 900 people (+1.3%). Two North Carolina cities in this category lost population - Fayetteville and Rocky Mount - lost population

Posted by: Chuck McShane - Vice President, Business Analytics and Data @ 12:00:00 am  Comments (0)
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