Telling the Story of Agriculture through Data Analysis

posted by Spencer Parkinson on Thursday, May 21, 2015

At Decision Innovation Solutions, we utilize the best tools in the market to help our clients make better informed decisions. We help our clients tell the "Story of Agriculture" in their counties, congressional districts, and states (see results here). You can also view a short video of some of the results for Iowa here (

When people usually think of SAS, complex econometrics normally comes to mind. While we do use SAS for this purpose, we've also been able to use SAS to achieve time savings and reduce exposure to errors as we work with several hundred models. In our work on our Economic Contribution Studies, we have created 293 unique county, congressional district and state models to date for Iowa, South Dakota, and Illinois. The process for creating and running these models is very tedious and can be prone to error. But by utilizing the "looping" feature in SAS we're able to work seamlessly with the IMPLAN models and Microsoft Excel, which is what we use for summarization and presentation of results.

Every project will have a hurdle or two to overcome. During this project we realized that we needed to have results summarized differently than originally thought. We needed to make adjustments to the production functions for hundreds of models. Since we used SAS for the project, we didn't have to go through each model individually which would have led to days of additional work and lost opportunity for work with other clients.

We continue to use SAS to save time. We know our clients expect robust, error-free analysis at a competitive price - the use of SAS has allowed us to meet these demands.

  1. economic contribution
  2. illinois
  3. iowa
  4. south dakota

About The Author

Spencer Parkinson

As President, CEO and Founding Member of Decision Innovation Solutions, Spencer Parkinson is responsible for business generation, ensuring client satisfaction and managing the overall operations of the business. He also seeks to understand clients’ data challenges, propose potential solutio ... read more