Indiana’s Reputation is Expanding in Technology Industry

By Daniel O'Boyle • April 7th, 2017

When asked to think of cities associated with technology, one usually thinks of the coasts. Areas like Silicon Valley are usually seen as the key locations behind the modern industries of the 21st century.

But in recent years, Indianapolis — and the state of Indiana — have become major players in the industry too. Just last month, Forbes placed Indianapolis fifth among cities creating the most tech jobs, while Governing Magazine wrote about the city’s surprise success in the tech industry.

Echoing a similar sentiment expressed in his State of the State address, Gov. Eric Holcomb called on Hoosiers to embrace Indiana’s potential as a tech state in a recent letter to the Indianapolis Star.

This infographic shows the success of Indiana — and Indianapolis in particular — as a key location for tech jobs.

Infographic: Visa Requirements for U.S. Citizens Vary by Destination

By Emily McConville • April 6th, 2017

If you are an American citizen, travel is easy. Over 100 countries offer visa-free entry to Americans, while dozens of others issue visas on arrival.

All travel, however, is governed by bilateral agreements taking into account internal and international politics, supranational organizations, health and safety.

This infographic outlines some of the things Americans need to do to travel to each country.

Sports Data: NHL’s Evolution, Luck’s Stats, WNBA Attendance Drops

By Staff • April 6th, 2017

Hockey, like any sport, is a game of innovation, and few advancements have provided such a lasting impact as the curved stick blade and the butterfly style of goaltending.

In the 1960s, two popular stars on the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, Stan Mikita and Bobby Hull, supposedly discovered they could shoot a hockey puck harder and with more control using a stick with a curved blade.

According to the Toronto Star, Mikita made the discovery after his flat stick partially broke during practice. He showed Hull how easy it was to get the puck off the ice, and, although the two were probably not the first NHL players to use the curved stick, they popularized the design.

When Mikita and Hull began using curved sticks, the average NHL game saw around three goals scored during it. Less than two decades later, however, the league averaged almost four goals per game, an increase of one goal.

Many of the offensive statistical leaders in NHL history, like Wayne Gretzky, Mario LeMieux and Mark Messier, played during this era.

The curved stick did more than just enable players to score, though. Seemingly simple facets of today’s game, like saucer passes, snap shots and clearing the defensive zone by chipping it high off the glass, would not have been possible without the controlled ability to lift the puck provided by the curved stick.

As physics has told us, however, for every action there is an opposite reaction, and for hockey this arrived in the shape of a feisty French-Canadian goaltender by the name of Patrick Roy during the 1985-1986 season.

Instead of simply kicking at pucks, Roy dropped to his knees and used his flexibility and quickness to kick his legs out and cover the bottom part of the net more effectively than any goalie before or, arguably, since.

While it may seem contradictory to cover the lower part of the net in the age of the curved stick blade, when Roy broke into the NHL he said he looked at the stats and saw something like three-quarters of all goals scored at the time were low, off rebounds or loose pucks in front of the net, according to the New York Times.

The butterfly style allowed Roy to first control rebounds off of shots better, but also position himself in such a way that reduced angles and made it harder for second-chance shots to beat him, no matter how quickly the shooter could lift the puck.

Although Roy was not the first goalie to drop to his knees in such a style, his popularity in Quebec and successful career in the NHL (during which he won two Stanley Cups each with the Canadiens and the Colorado Avalanche, as well as two Conn Smythe trophies as the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs) soon prompted scores of young goalies to adopt the butterfly style.

This countered the increasing goal totals produced by the curved stick blade, and by the end of Roy’s career in 2003, the average goals scored in the NHL was below pre-curved stick levels.

Few, if any, goaltenders in today’s game reach higher levels without adopting at least a hybrid butterfly style.

Roy also happened to be one of the most — colorful — characters in NHL history, as this video from TSN reminds us.

And yes, that was Gretzky, the Great One himself, that Roy faked out at the blue line at Madison Square Garden in moment No. 10. — Zach Klonskinski


By the Numbers: Andrew Luck

Quarterback Andrew Luck has been with the Indianapolis Colts for five seasons, bringing his team to the playoffs three times. Luck signed a six-year contract with the Colts that locks him in through 2021. This chart displays his rushing and passing yards during his time with the team. — Connor DeMill


WNBA Attendance Drops

The WNBA marks its 20th anniversary this year, but the league’s attendance numbers don’t beg for celebration.

Since its inception, average attendance has dwindled, but that’s only one numerical marker of the typically subordinate position of women’s basketball in the United States: The highest-paid WNBA player currently earns around one-fifth of the salary of the lowest-paid NBA player, and the NBA draws millions in viewerships that hardly compare to the WNBA’s six-digit television audiences. — Cassidy McDonald


Patrick Kane’s Surge in Stats

The Chicago Blackhawks have clinched the NHL Central Division and home ice in the Western Conference for the Stanley Cup playoff. Over the past 10 years, they have been Stanley Cup champions three times.

One big reason: Patrick Kane has consistently been one of the best players on the Blackhawks. Yet over these 10 years, his number of goals has yet to succeed his number of assists. — Claire Radler


Where Were Indiana’s Current MLB Players Born?

April 2 marked Opening Day of the 2017 MLB season. Of the 750 players on active rosters, 25 come from Indiana while three more were recently cut. Where are they from? This map has the details. — Joe DiSipio


How Archie Miller’s Winning Percentage Compared to Tom Crean’s

With Indiana firing head men’s basketball coach Tom Crean after nine seasons with the Hoosiers, it is clear that a new voice is needed to guide the team in a new direction. His 166-135 record at Indiana is not necessarily a bad tally, but a historic program accustomed to winning expects more than four NCAA Tournament appearances in that span.

As Archie Miller arrives from Dayton to take the reins, will he be able to lead Indiana back to its winning ways? His history at Dayton says he can, and fans in Bloomington will look forward to next season when a new face is leading the Hoosiers onto the court at Assembly Hall next winter. — Juan Jose Rodriguez


Crean’s Run Ends in Bloomington

As the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament began on March 16, Indiana University announced that it had fired head basketball coach Tom Crean.

Indiana hired Crean in 2008, and he compiled a 301–166 record in nine seasons. In the 2016-17 season, Indiana went 18-16 and missed the NCAA Tournament, losing in the first round of the NIT Tournament to Georgia Tech.

This chart breaks down Crean’s rise and fall as Indiana’s basketball coach. — Kevin Culligan


Indiana Starting to Make Strides in the Exploding Craft Beer Market

By Teagan Dillon • April 6th, 2017

The craft beer industry is experiencing tremendous growth in the U.S. in recent years.

According to the Brewers Association, the craft beer industry now represents 12 percent market share of the total beer market, more than double than what it was in 2011. The following infographic shows where Indiana ranks among the nation in this craft beer craze.

Indiana Unemployment Rate Continues to Dive, Lowest Since 2001

By Joe DiSipio • March 3rd, 2017

An analysis of monthly reports of the Indiana unemployment rates during the Obama administration illustrates the lingering recovery from the 2008 financial crisis.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics captures the sharp increase of joblessness as the Great Recession hit hard in 2009. But it also shows that despite political rhetoric, Indiana may have reached a level of recovery under President Obama.

Much of the 2016 presidential campaign rhetoric centered on the economy, specifically on the creation of jobs in the industrial Midwest.

Jobs were an issue of particular interest to voters in Indiana. At the height of the Great Recession, unemployment levels reached a high of 10.9 percent in June 2009.

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Compared to the BLS national averages, Indiana started at a lower level but once the effects of the crisis set in, it averaged an unemployment rate of almost a full percentage point higher than that of the country as a whole.

Voters didn’t forget that feeling of desperation between 2009 and 2014. The “America First” candidate Donald Trump was able to capitalize on that lingering feeling while the data shows that Indiana unemployment levels actually fell to below 2009 rates by the end of President Obama’s term.

 Trump based some of his candidacy on bringing back jobs. He followed through  with his controversial Carrier deal during the transition in November 2016.

Map: Indiana’s Affordability Ranks Among the Best in America

By Manny DeJesus • March 2nd, 2017

Ever wonder how much it costs to live in the lovely state of Indiana? Luckily, according to Graphiq.com, the largest cities in Indiana, which was ranked the eighth most affordable state in the country, are all relatively very affordable for married couples with one child.

Graphiq took data from the Economic Policy Institute, The Council for Community and Economic Research and The Bureau of Labor Statistics to measure up the cost of living in some of the largest cities in Indiana.

Considering housing costs, healthcare, transportation and taxes, the cost of living is also compared to the national average. It’s also important to note that when you click on each city on Graphiq’s website, you can see the adjusted cost of living for a single person or family with four children.

Data: Indiana Food Insecurity Rates Higher Than National Average

By Caelin Miltko • February 20th, 2017

Indiana’s food insecurity rates from 2013 to 2015 were higher than the national average, according to an analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture Data.

The USDA rated 14.8 percent of Indiana households as having low or very low food security, in comparison to 13.7 percent nationally.

6.1 percent of Indiana households were classified as having very low food security, in comparison to 5.4 percent nationally.

The USDA defines low food security as “reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.” Very low food security is defined as “reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.”

Since 2014, when Indianapolis was rated worst in the nation for food deserts, various efforts have begun to decrease food insecurity in the state. A 2016 state bill was proposed to counteract food deserts specifically.

Food insecurity rates vary widely across the country. North Dakota has the lowest food insecurity rate at 8.5 percent, while Missouri has the highest at 20.8 percent (with 7.9 percent ranked as very low food security).


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Maps: Best Bets for Coffee in South Bend? We Have You Covered

By Molly Seidel and Marie Fazio • February 20th, 2017

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Forget ‘Bucks, SB-based Zen is the way to go (Source; ZenRoasters)

There’s certainly no shortage of coffee on the Notre Dame campus. Between overpriced Starbucks lattes and the brown java sludge brewing at ABP it’s never been more convenient to grab a caffeine kick between classes.

However, these spots lack the cozy atmosphere of a great coffee shop, or the community buzz of a local diner. Likewise, sometimes you want a really great bagel or plate of pancakes to go with that hot drink.

South Bend has seen a huge resurgence in local eateries over the past few years, and today there are more places to grab great coffee and food than ever. These cafes are based in the community and feature many local products such as Zen coffee (roasted right in South Bend) or organic produce from Michiana farms.

And the food options, ranging from loaded breakfast sandwiches at the General to steaming bagels at Stude’s, provide the perfect complement to a delicious cup of java.

While many students may be hesitant to travel beyond the security of the Notre Dame bubble, South Bend offers far more opportunities for coffee/brunching bliss than campus does. If you’re looking to break out of your coffee rut then this interactive map will lead you straight to your new favorite hangout. — Molly Seidel


Another point of view …

Of all the things that come to mind when one thinks of South Bend – Notre Dame football, its minor role in Indian removal, the Studebaker factory, etc. – great coffee isn’t normally one of them.

That, however, should change.

The South Bend area is full of delicious cafes and cozy coffee shops, great for studying, socializing, hearing live acoustic music, or just enjoying a strong cup of freshly brewed coffee. Forget Starbucks, Einstein’s, and Dunkin’ Donuts, these coffee shops brew the good stuff locally, and offer an unbeatable atmosphere to go along with it.

After extensive research using cafe reviews on Yelp and in-person testing performed by several coffee enthusiasts who may or may not be suffering from an addiction to caffeine, we have compiled a list of the best places to get coffee in the South Bend area. The cafes were judged on the quality of the coffee, the price-which is important to struggling college students, and overall vibe of the establishment – friendliness, localness, etc. — Marie Fazio

Rebranding, Four Winds Field Changes Boost South Bend Cubs’ Attendance

By Erin McAuliffe • February 19th, 2017

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The South Bend Cubs were known as the South Bend Silver Hawks until 2014, and the rebranding efforts to align the team with the Chicago Cubs, its major league affiliate, have apparently paid off, according to an analysis of the team’s attendance data.

Beyond the parent club’s World Series victory, South Bend owner Andrew Berlin, who bought the team in 2011,  has spent $8 million since 2011 to renovate Four Winds Field. He upgraded seating and added a new team store, along with family-friendly stadium additions like a playground, waterpark and Kid’s Fun Zone.

The efforts have paid off — stadium attendance has more than tripled since 2011. The ticket sales in 2015, seen in the chart, set franchise records for the best single-season attendance. Also, a record amount of Indiana state sales tax was collected via the concessions and merchandise sold in the stadium in 2015, money that was retained to benefit the City of South Bend. The team was even named Ballpark Digest’s Team of the Year in 2015.

Team President Joe Hart, who joined the Cubs in 2012, spoke about the award with the Ballpark Digest: “South Bend is a great baseball community and the last four years have been very rewarding as we have worked hard to rebuild the franchise. We have a great owner that has a passion for baseball and deep commitment to [the] City of South Bend and the region. This would not be possible without an experienced front office staff that believes in customer service and providing a first-class experience for our fans each and every night.”