Have you heard the joke about the pollster soliciting opinions outside the United Nations? It’s funny, but we’re not going to tell it here. We’re also not going to discuss political polling. We’re here to talk about you and what you’re working on.

As we do every two years, ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR has called on our intrepid researchers at Renaissance Research and Consulting to find out more about your business and the work you are doing. They analyzed 2,419 responses to questionnaires to find out what’s really going on with you guys. Chuck Ross helped distill more than 80 pages of information into the “2016 Profile of the Electrical Contractor.” He writes: “These responses paint a portrait of an industry that’s both continuing to mend following the financial meltdown eight years ago and expanding into new business areas.”

In small but statistically significant ways, new construction became more important to ECs’ bottom lines between 2013 and 2015. It was especially important for larger firms, responsible for almost 50 percent of revenue for firms with 20 or more employees. On the flip side, Chuck writes, the maintenance/service/repair sector is at the top for billings among smaller companies.

We combined a few old work categories (wiring and cable; LED lighting) and added some new ones to bring you 10 fact-filled pages of revelatory data analysis.

On a personal level, we’re thrilled to present the 2016 Profile because, not only is it our most noteworthy project that serves the entire electrical contracting industry, but it also affords us the opportunity to really flex some creative muscle in the design and layout department. Of course, the charts and figures require meticulous attention, but the art concept is a chance to communicate the Profile’s message in one pleasing image. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, and, this year, we may have taken that phrase too literally.

But wait! There’s more! For the 2016 Profile, we embarked on an additional project. During the production process, we developed an electronic companion piece at profile.ecmag.com. There, you can find Chuck Ross’ story, specially designed for the web with interactive charts and menus. Our web developers at Unleashed Technologies gave special consideration to reading such a piece on the internet, and, with their help, we brought the Profile to ECmag.com in a way that we’ve never been able to before.

Truly, the Profile is a huge, comprehensive project, and we’re proud of it as an editorial achievement and purposeful tool. We hope you find it useful and informative.

And that’s enough back-patting for one volume.