In surveying, a “benchmark” is a literal post or plaque that is used as a mark for future surveys. It can be used by others later to take measurements, examine angles, and check elevation. In business, benchmarking is the process of comparing current practices against others. In computing, a benchmark is a test to assess the relative performance of a program.
In other words, a benchmark is a point of reference — the basis for which other, newer measurements can be taken and insights can be drawn from.
The Benchmark — a new publication of the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University — is where our team of researchers and scholars will set their own measures, share their ideas about issues that are important to them, and contribute to discussions about the future and what it means.
While we hope the essays, insights, and thoughts shared will be useful and interesting to you, our goal is that these essays will be a starting point — a point of reference — that inspires others to examine new angles, pathways, and approaches that can be the basis for future innovative ideas and creative solutions.
We hope, too, that you’ll leave your thoughts with us. Challenge our ideas and assumptions. Let’s work together to forge a new path toward a better world. We certainly won’t pretend to have all of the answers, but at least we can leave our benchmark for others to reference along the way.