Data Revisited

By Kenneth Surbrugg, Business Consultant, Missouri Small Business Development Center at Missouri Southern State University

“Plan your work and work your plan.” – Napoleon Hill

In August 2021, I wrote an article called “Data for the Next” in Joplin Business Outlook. That article focused on using data to help entrepreneurs make decisions about the next — the next product or the next service to introduce. Entrepreneurs were encouraged to consider using data to help support investment decisions in their businesses.

In utilizing data, entrepreneurs can gather insights to support business decisions. For example, suppose an entrepreneur wants to add a service that would benefit a certain age group. The entrepreneur would want to research this idea by using data to help determine if the market is large enough to justify an investment. Another example might be a local business that is looking to expand their operations into a new community. However, this expansion might require hiring individuals with a college degree. Management would want to research the community’s population, employment rates, and educational levels to plan their staff recruitment efforts.

The staff at the Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) hosted at Missouri Southern State University (MSSU) collects data from ESRI, an international supplier of geographic information system software, web GIS, and geodatabase management applications. ESRI allows a user to define an area on any of the following criteria: unique radius based on a specific address (for example, one-mile from a business address), county subdivisions, congressional districts, cities and towns, designated market area, core-based statistical areas, block groups, census tracts, ZIP codes, counties, states, or the United States as a whole.

Within these defined areas, users can choose from a menu of 49 unique reports. These reports focus on various characteristics such as demographics, population, housing, business summary, labor workforce, crime, internet potential, finance, consumer expenditures, and retail demand.

My article from 2021 contained information from several different ESRI reports on both Jasper and Newton Counties. Below is an update on that information on both counties. All 2026 and 2027 data are projections based on ESRI estimates.


  2021 2022 2026 2027
Population (all ages) 184,491 182,798 187,520 184,738
Median Age 38.0 38.1 38.9 39.0

Civilian Population (not in the military, age 16+)

  2021 2022
Population 95,238 93,237
Percentage Employed 94.9% 96.7%

Employed Population (16+)

  2021 2022
Percentage Employed, Service Industry 43.3% 43.7%
Percentage Employed, Manufacturing 16.4% 15.9%
Percentage Employed, Retail Trade 11.9% 11.9%
Percentage Employed, Construction 7.3% 7.3%

According to ESRI, it is estimated that over the last 30 days (as of July 1, 2021, and then on March 14, 2023), the number of adult population or households:

  2021 2023
Used Facebook 65.6% 66.6%
Used YouTube 51.7% 50.9%
Used Instagram 26.7% 28.7%
Used Snapchat 21.7% 21.5%
Used Pinterest 21.7% 20.8%

ESRI Forecast Demand Projections:

  2026 2027
Per Capita Income $27,662 $32,919
Median Home Value $169,358 $213,017
Demand for Food $532,837,681 $624,624,962
Entertainment and Recreation $193,095,180 $226,168,216
Pets $48,090,143 $56,195,672
Vehicle Maintenance and Repair $62,455,433 $79,025,018

In conclusion, ESRI provides many different reports that contain information to help entrepreneurs consider a new business launch or a small business expansion.

If you would like to learn more about ESRI and how this data can help in supporting business decisions, please register for the upcoming Zoom workshop hosted by the Missouri Small Business Development Center at Missouri Southern State University:

The Importance of Data Driven Decisions

Tuesday, May 9 | 10:30 am – 11:45 am | Delivered through Zoom

For more information about this workshop, or any other workshops hosted by the Missouri Small Business Development Center, please visit and click on “View Events”.

“Be not afraid of growing slowly. Be afraid of standing still.” – Proverb


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.