National organization touts Ball State's reports on manufacturing, logistics

Topic: Miller College of Business

October 31, 2008

A Ball State University electronic report package that analyzed the nation's manufacturing and logistics industries recently received the first Electronic Publication Award given by the Association for University Business and Economic Research (AUBER).

AUBER, a national organization for economic and business research centers in the United States, recognized "2008 State of the Industry Report for Manufacturing and Logistics" and the accompanying "2008 Manufacturing Report Card" for using electronic means to convey diverse economic information to a wide audience.

The reports were created by members of Ball State's Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), formerly known as the Bureau of Business Research.

Honored also for outstanding design and usability, the report package exemplifies how PDFs may be used to support online publications, said Mike Hicks, CBER director and study co-author. 

"This is a great example of how online media can be used to convey fairly complex economic data into a really usable form," he said. "The competition for this award was very tough, and we are really pleased to be recognized for such an award."

The report package was designed by Ball State graduates Jessica Booth, CBER's publications and Web coordinator, and Victoria Meldrum, project assistant. The report also was co-authored by Thomas Charles, emeritus senior research associate, and Aswin Guntupalli, a computer science graduate student.

"As publication designers, we try to take facts and figures and present them in a meaningful way - adding value with charts, graphs and maps that display dense data in an easily digestible format," Booth said.

The reports were sponsored by Conexus Indiana, a new initiative created to capitalize on emerging opportunities in the state's advanced manufacturing and logistics industries. As a result, Ball State received significant national media attention. The reports also were recently cited by candidates running for governor in Missouri.

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