Since our inception in 1970, the Center for Business and Economic Research has been a trusted source for high-quality, nonpartisan, data-rich research, analysis, and visualization. Until October 2008, the Center was known as the Bureau of Business Research. CBER plays an active role in advocating for sustainable community growth through community-focused economic development and effective public policy.

Mission and Vision

The Center for Business and Economic Research strives to position Ball State University as a premier research and data resource for communities, economic bodies, and governing offices throughout the state of Indiana.


  1. Conduct relevant, timely public policy research on a wide range of economic issues affecting the state and nation.
  2. Enhance the premier role Ball State University has in performing policy research in Indiana.
  3. Leverage the expertise of key University faculty and researchers to advance Indiana.


CBER strives to clearly communicate timely and relevant analysis of important economic issues to federal, state, and local policy makers.

The Center for Business and Economic Research combines research and outreach services to serve the needs of the university and communities across Indiana. For more information about any of our services, contact our office.

Contact Us

Research and Analysis

The CBER research staff performs customized studies for state government, federal agencies, regional economic developers, and business associations. Research in the center focuses on a broad range of topics including health care, public finance, regional economics, manufacturing, and quality of place.

Our clear, comprehensive analysis makes local, state, and national public policy issues accessible to community leaders, policy makers, and the general public.

Data Delivery and Web Tools

Easily access national data sets, economic calculators and socioeconomic statistics through the web tools of the CBER Data Center. Know when the latest data sets are released through posts on our Twitter feed. Stay current with public policy and business issues by subscribing to the Indiana Business Bulletin—a brief newsletter delivered weekly through email.

Forecasting Events

We hold the Indiana Economic Outlook—an annual luncheon and presentation to predict the state's economic climate in the upcoming year—each December in downtown Muncie.

We also present regional economic forecasts and industry-specific forecasts for audiences ranging from local to state to national.

Speaking Engagements

Our expert researchers are available to give insight into current topics in economics, business, and public policy, and to give greater context to our recent studies and commentaries.

Graphic Design

The CBER publications staff has been recognized for excellence in publications design. We translate data and research findings into visual displays that speak to an audience of community leaders, policy makers, industry executives, and the general public. We also provide design services for university offices and student organizations.

The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at Ball State University was established in 1970 as the Bureau of Business Research (BBR). The College of Business Dean Robert Bell tasked the bureau with its first mission— find research opportunities for college faculty and provide resources to assist them in their research.

The staff and services of the bureau greatly expanded in the 1970s, in both a capacity for research analysis and dissemination and for the visual presentation and publication of this research. The staff produced the college’s business focused academic journal, the Ball State Business Review.

In 1987, BBR became the managing office for the Mid-American Journal of Business, a business-focused academic journal supported by a consortium of business schools. These duties further advanced the development of the publications staff and technical capabilities of the bureau as a whole.

Economic forecasting became a new offering of the bureau in the 1990s, spawning the creation of the Ball State University Business Forecasting Roundtable for business and industry experts in East Central Indiana and the annual Indiana Economic Outlook in December.

In the more recent decades, BBR has shifted its focus to its online offerings, expanding our data delivery and analysis to a global audience. In October 2008, the bureau changed its name to become the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), reflecting a new mission that focuses on delivering relevant and timely insight to the larger community. The CBER Data Center continues to grow in its offerings and features, and our research continues to have a meaningful impact for communities in Indiana and beyond.

Read an expanded history, including key staff who contributed to our legacy.

The Center for Business and Economic Research employs a robust staff of economists, researchers, graphic designers, and technical developers who collaborate with faculty and engage in their community. We also mentor graduate and undergraduate students through internships, assistantships, and real-world projects while they complete their degree programs at Ball State University. Learn more about our opportunities for student employment.

The Center for Business and Economic Research is located in the heart of Ball State University's campus in Muncie, Indiana – visit our office in the Whitinger Business Building.