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Diversity Indices

This Inland Empire Business Atlas is populated with a wealth of data, which can be analyzed using statistics and displayed using mapping technology. Regarding the statistics, each chapter essentially presents a large rectangular block of data, with Southern California locations placed in rows and various attributes of those locations (including spatial coordinates or references) placed in the columns. Usually, interest is focused on summarizing characteristics of an individual attribute, determining whether levels of the attribute vary systematically over space, finding meaningful relations among attributes, and displaying summary results on maps.

To summarize the characteristics of a single numeric attribute, it is common to measure the center of the data, the spread of measures around that center, and the overall shape of the distribution of numeric values. In an introductory statistics course, it is common to represent the center and shape by the mean and standard deviation, respectively, and to simply assume that the shape resembles a “bell-shape curve”. However, real-life data often has a shape that resembles some other, less symmetric, shape, and the standard deviation can be a misleading indicator of spread. The problem is compounded when the attribute of interest is expressed as multiple categories, the counts in which sum to the sample total for each location. This tutorial examines a measure that addresses the latter problem, providing an intuitive measure of dispersion that has a ready interpretation. It is known as a “diversity index”, and (in at least one of its formulations) can be interpreted as the probability that any two entities selected at random are members of the same group. If all entities belong to a single group, then the probability should (and will) equal 100%; if they are distributed perfectly evenly among g groups, then the probability should approach 100%/g (and will as the sample size increases).

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Spatial Analysis

Almost every business today applies some form of data analysis, perhaps to better understand market opportunities, or customer behavior, or internal operations. The discipline of study that underlies much of data analysis is Statistics, and any introductory textbook on statistical data analysis has much to offer. However, most business issues have a spatial component; indeed, spatial patterns and relationships often are key underlying drivers of business success or failure.

Unfortunately, that introductory statistics book (or course) is unlikely to devote attention to the special issues of spatial statistics. In fact, because introductory material focuses on measures and models that assume independence among observations, an analyst applying those ideas to typical business data is likely to be misled – most business data has dependencies over time and/or dependencies across space, and to disregard these dependencies is to invite trouble.

Spatial is indeed special, requiring special approaches to identifying and measuring dependencies, and requiring special techniques for adjusting and analyzing business data. This tutorial cannot do more than introduce fundamental ideas in this regard, but having at least a casual acquaintance with these fundamental ideas will help you better understand much of the material in other sections of this Atlas.

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Business Resources

California Business Portal   Sponsored by the California Economic Development Partnership, this website provides a portal to a number of resources for starting, growing, financing, expanding or relocating a business in California.

California Hometown Locator   This site provides profiles of 6,438 California cities & towns
County of Riverside Home page   This site provides links to Riverside County departments and services
County of San Bernardino Home page   This site provides links to San Bernardino County departments and services
Inland Empire Economic Partnership   The Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP) is the private, non-profit regional economic development organization for the Inland Empire (which includes both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties). IEEP's core mission is the expansion and relocation of business to the Inland Empire.
Inland Empire Womens Business Development Centers   The IEWBC’s goal is to benefit the local economy by assisting existing and aspiring women business owners to start and grow successful businesses. This site provides helpful links to Federal, state and city links within the Inland Empire that support the Inland Empire Womens Business Center
Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce directory   This site connects you to all the Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce web links.
About the Inland Empire   This site provides lots of information about the Inland Empire: City & County resources, visitor information, Business information, events, and demographics.
San Bernardino Associated Governments (SANBAG)   San Bernardino Associated Governments, known as SANBAG, is the council of governments and transportation planning agency for San Bernardino County. SANBAG is responsible for cooperative regional planning and furthering an efficient multi-modal transportation system countywide. SANBAG serves the 1.9 million residents of San Bernardino County.
San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)   The 18 cities and county government are SANDAG serving as the forum for regional decision-making. SANDAG builds consensus, makes strategic plans, obtains and allocates resources, plans, engineers, and builds public transportation, and provides information on a broad range of topics pertinent to the region's quality of life.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)   This site connects people to the local SBA office homepage which highlights local resources and specific information for each local office.
Small Business Development Center and the Center for Internation Trade Development   The Small Business Development Center and the Center for International Trade Development provides a variety of services to clients in San Diego and Imperial counties. Our services are designed to assist small business owners expand their operations profitably. Additionally, we help businesses interested in international expansion navigate the complexities of importing and/or exporting.
Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)   An international and regional planning forum for regional plans that improve the quality of life for Southern Californians.
Small Business Development Center Network   This site provides free & low-cost business management and technical assistance to small businesses.
Inland Empire Small Business Development Council   The Inland Empire Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is the region’s premier provider of business consulting and training services for the existing and aspiring business owner. The SBDC delivers quality consulting, instructive and relevant training and complete resources to over 5,000 business prospects every year.
State of CA Business Investment Services   Our CalBIS staff are available to help you identify the business advantages of considering California locations for new business investment and expansion. We offer a network of regional and local resources to gather essential information and discover which locations offer the most value for your project.
Inland Empire Tourism Council   Southern California's Inland Empire offers both the vacationer and the conventioneer unparalleled beauty and recreation, history and culture, arts and entertainment, and, of course, shopping. In a sunny Mediterranean climate, Riverside and San Bernardino counties boast rolling hills, forested mountains, broad deserts, open valleys, and cosmopolitan cities.
Womens Business Centers   The Women’s Business Center (WBC) is a Small Business Administration program operated by VEDC (Valley Economic Development Center) to promote the creation and growth of businesses by women and minority entrepreneurs.
Inland Empire Business Atlas, ©University of Redlands, 2009. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA or the University of Redlands. Site created and maintained by the Redlands Institute.