Praxis uses EMSI data to help develop community initiatives, business ventures

Working in major population centers such as Los Angeles to more isolated areas like Montana and North Dakota, Praxis Strategy Group helps a wide spectrum of clients craft and implement community initiatives and business ventures. Part of PSG’s analysis includes looking at detailed data from EMSI that is not constrained by typical geographical boundaries.

PSG is currently working on an economic development project centered in the greater Los Angeles metro area. Using EMSI’s ZIP code-level data, Mark Schill, a PSG associate (pictured left), was able to gather the labor market, human capital, and demographic figures he needed for each corner of the affected counties without worrying about extraneous data coming into play.

Furthermore, Schill appreciates having quick, web-based access to the figures he needs. “I can do a lot of analysis in a hurry on the front end of a project and spend less time formatting numbers and more time thinking,” he says.

Strategic planning for PSG is based on a full range of personal interviews and time on the ground in communities, combined with different economic and demographic metrics and analysis of workforce shortages. Part of the process for the North Dakota-based firm is “taking a hard look at what the facts are about communities,” Schill says.

A large portion of PSG’s work focuses on small to mid-sized communities. One such current project is in Montana, where a five-county region is seeking to diversify its economy in the wake of a military base realignment. Schill and others at PSG used EMSI to get a basic understanding of the region’s labor market and demographic trends. With the information in hand, the consultants had a solid foundation to come up with a strategic plan and new target industries.

“It’s critical to look at data,” Schill says. “It’s always best to lead with the facts.”

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