December 04, 2013

Survey Details

This report highlights the findings of the 2014 First Business Economic Survey, which was conducted by First Business Bank in September and October of each year. The survey was sent to businesses in Dane County, the Greater Milwaukee Area, and Northeastern Wisconsin and addressed to the CEO, CFO, President, and/or business owner. The survey asked questions regarding prior year and forwardâ€looking results on eight key economic indicators in each of the following areas: Sales Revenue, Profitability, Total Operating Costs as a Percentage of Revenue, Capital Expenditures, Number of Employees, Overall Wage Change, Change in Price, and Operating Capacity.

Notes about the interpretation of survey data:

Technology Firms
It is important to note that firms selfâ€select their business sector. Therefore, the number of technology firms indicated does not represent the actual percentage/number of technology firms within the survey sample; only the percentage/number that reporting technology as their primary business sector.

Comparing Actuals to Projections
It is also important to note that actual and forecasted measurements should not be compared against each other. Comparing actual performance to forecasted performance would only provide insights on the ability for managers to predict the business environment. Instead, this study focuses on comparing and contrasting yearâ€overâ€year changes and discrepancies between different types of businesses. Readers should compare actualâ€toâ€actual numbers or projected†toâ€projected numbers when doing their analysis.

Statistically Significant Changes
Cells containing data found to be statistically significantly different (with a confidence level of 95%) from the year prior are highlighted in green. The determination of statistical significance takes into account the change in value from one year to the next as well as the number of responses from each year.