Business Analytics...

Business Analytics Toolkit for Tech Hubs

Lessons learned from infoDev's mLabs and mHubs

This toolkit was made for managers of tech hubs. Dozens of tech hubs have emerged over the last few years across the globe. Managers of these innovation and entrepreneurship enablers grapple with problems that infoDev has experience with. This toolkit takes lessons that infoDev has gathered from its own tech hub pilots, mLabs and mHubs, and apply them to tech hubs in general.

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Business Analytics Toolkit for Tech Hubs Cover

The toolkit is especially useful for current and future mLab and mHub managers. mLabs and mHubs are tech hubs established through grants administered by the infoDev Digital Entrepreneurship Program infoDev is committed to supporting the analytical capacities of mLabs and mHubs. This toolkit is part of that agenda. It will help grantees to improve local implementation while setting a common framework on how to collaborate with infoDev on business analytics and performance measurements.

The third target audience is mobile innovation specialists at other World Bank units and other development organizations, who design impact and measurement frameworks for tech hubs. Given the recent rise in numbers of tech hubs, international development organizations are exploring if and how they can be employed to achieve socio-economic development impact goals. In particular, tech hubs’ flexibility and diverse potential effects have sparked interest but have also caused problems for specific and concrete analysis and projection of hubs’ effects and impact. This toolkit addresses this complication. All elements of the toolkit that speak of infoDev’s role in facilitating and coordinating with mLabs or mHubs on business analytics processes can be seen as use cases with potential for replication and adaptation by practitioners and decision makers of other development organizations, including relevant units of the World Bank.

What led infoDev to develop this Toolkit?

Tech hub numbers are burgeoning in developing countries, helping information and communication technology (ICT) developers and entrepreneurs to network, innovate, and start businesses. Set foot into a top-tier hub and you will be struck by the buzz and excitement that have infused local entrepreneurial communities within just a few years.

infoDev was at the forefront of the movement when, in 2011, it launched two different kinds of tech hubs to enable entrepreneurship in local mobile application and software markets: mobile application labs (mLabs) and mobile social networking hubs (mHubs). mLabs and mHubs were pilot mobile innovation support programs. The immediate goal was to help infoDev learn from experimentation how the innovation pioneer gap could be bridged through tech hubs. infoDev has since made great strides learning lessons, making evaluations and publishing knowledge products. Each mLab and mHub operated on different business models tailored to the needs of local markets, which increased the number of real-world experiments that infoDev could learn from.

This Business Analytics Toolkit will help you:

1)      Understand how to conduct performance measurement for an mLab or mHub, or other tech hubs

2)      Improve your planning, lesson learning, and delivery over time

3)      Collect data needed to communicate to potential investors and partners.

The Toolkit:

  • Is oriented towards tech hub managers but is also useful for others interested in the design of tech hubs 
  • Provides a brief description of what led infoDev to put together this toolkit 
  • Makes the case for the relevance of rigorous business analytics
  • Categorizes tech hub business models and outlines the consequences of business model selection for business analytics strategies
  • Highlights important considerations for tech hubs that are funded by governments and donors, including international development organizations such as infoDev 
  • Gives detailed guidance on how a good business analytics approach can be developed and indicators selected in a performance measurement system 
  • Provides instructions on how tech hubs can use business analytics and performance measurement in a continuous process 
  • Briefly outlines how mLabs and mHubs can engage with infoDev once they have a sound business analytics approach in place 

This is version 1.0 of this toolkit, and you are encouraged to help improve future versions by submitting your feedback to infoDev.

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