Finally, a comprehensive gauge of tech industry health

Steve Hamm

For a numbers-based business, the tech industry has long suffered from a shortage of good metrics with which to gauge its overall health. There are a smattering of CIO surveys, which tend to be mood meters rather than accurate indicators of future spending. There are hard numbers from the government's durable goods and private investment reports that measure a few things well, but not many others. And, of course, there are stock indexes--but they measure the hopes and fears of investors rather than fundamental realities. One of the results of this data shortfall is that we at BW are forever having big debates about whether the tech industry is on the rise, declining, or just flat again. Since tech still is a major driver of productivity and economic growth, this stuff matters. Big bets are placed, and big risks taken.

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