Identification and Analysis of Information and Data Sources
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Considerable Data exists that can be analyzed to show statistical relationships for student data, agribusiness firm data of both primary and secondary data sources in agriculture. It is the objective of this research project to find and analyze these sources of information. This research will also evaluate the relevance and validity of these data sources.Since the late 1970's and early 1980's, it has been widely perceived that society has been experiencing an "information revolution" (Naisbitt; Naisbitt and Aburdene; Toffler). Society is being overrun with information from technological improvements and improved access to the media. As early as 1978, agricultural economists recognized the need for further research in the area of economics of information (Eisgruber). Eisgruber in 1978 stated "neither theory nor methodology exists to address adequately the economics of information, and, until recently, little effort was made to overcome the deficiency" (p. 901). Other early studies such as Mjelde (1985) and Chavas and Pope also recognized the need for additional research in the area of economics of information. These studies challenged the agricultural profession to gain deeper insights into the concepts of economics of information. Further, they note the uncertainty faced in the agricultural sector provides an excellent setting for such studies.Although progress has been made in understanding the economics of information since these early challenges, our understanding of the role of information remains limited (Mjelde 1999). More recent work by Litzenberg (2010) shows that information technology must be addressed in curriculum for millennial students. Urutyan (2010) demonstrated that the information technology was important in Armenia for agribusiness firms making business decisions and for agribusiness educational programs.One reason for our limited knowledge is the continually changing environment in which decisions are made. Technological advances such as the computer and Internet have increased the availability of data and information and provide new ways to obtain data from decision makers. Other advances, such as increased understanding of the biophysical environment, are changing the role and types of information available. Until the mid1990's, very few people outside of the climate sciences field had heard of El Nifio or La Nifia. Today, however, the national media (for example the almost nightly El Nifio watch on CBS Nightly News during 1999) chooses to report almost daily on potential impacts of physical phenomenon. Unfortunately, such reports are often misleading or incomplete, but they have the potential to impact decision making. Research with junior high students (Mjelde 2011) showed that information is an important component for decision making in weather related activities and that junior high students could use information to make improved decisions . Such advances are not limited to the technological and physical fields but are applied here in junior high-level students planning activities.Alternatively, business decision makers are currently inundated with information, but causal models that enable improved management decisions are needed. Economic advances in risk management, for example, continue to force increased understanding of the economics of information. In the foreseeable future, there is no reason to believe scientific and technological advances will not continue to keep challenging our knowledge concerning the economics of information. The economics of information can also be used to show the economic impact of decisions made by college level decision makers and the value of natural resources in the labor decision (Jin 2011).