I have read more city ranking lists than I can remember.  They are sometimes valuable in making certain types of decisions or in assessing quality of life and work.  That said, the statistician in me always looks carefully at the methodologies involved because many things can change depending on those methodologies.  Therefore, I have learned to receive the ranking data for what it is worth.  I view it more as a collection of comparative observations rather than a rigidly ranked data set.

To that point, I was heartened to see what Dane Stangler (the vice president of research and policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation) said recently.  Speaking on a panel concerning Kansas City’s future, he affirmed (Greg Hack, “Kansas City’s Business and Cultural Scene: A Rival to Austin?  Vibrant Hub Emerging” The Kansas City Star, April 15, 2014, pp. C1, C6, C7):

‘I don’t put too much stock [in various city rankings because] you can tweak one small thing and get greatly different results.’” (C6)

Rankings are great when you want to run through some quick mental comparisons.  Just realize they never tell the whole story.  A ranking alone does not a city make.

About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Johnson Controls at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger. I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.

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