This article is designed to offer IMPLAN users some important descriptions of, temporary solutions for, and status updates regarding known technological issues which have been identified and are actively being addressed within IMPLAN. Should you encounter any issues which are not addressed in this article, please let us know by contacting us at (800) 507-9426 or at support@IMPLAN.com. Issues which were previously identified, but have since been resolved, are documented in IMPLAN's product release notes which are published upon the release of new features and capabilities within the IMPLAN tool.
ISSUES BEING ADDRESSED:
Each of the technological bugs described below have been identified and are being addressed (as you read!) by the IMPLAN Product Team. So don't worry—we're on it! But, should you encounter any of these issues between now and the deployment of their official fixes, there are workarounds which can provide effective (albeit manual) solutions in the meantime.
1. Default Spending Pattern Bug & How to Correct It
At IMPLAN we strive for accuracy and transparency. We want to alert you to a bug in the system regarding Spending Pattern Events. In June 2019, a patch was released that changed the default setting in the Advanced Menu for Spending Patterns from 100% Local Purchase Percentage (LPP) to the SAM. This was done to align the functionality of IMPLAN’s software with the reality of economic markets.
While it looked as though SAM was checked, behind the scenes 100% was actually being applied. As a result, some results could be inflated if the default Spending Pattern was utilized in your analysis. If the Spending Pattern was edited in any manner, your results were unaffected by this bug.
The good news is that if the default Spending Pattern was used in your analysis, the solution is very straightforward. On the Events screen, go to the Spending Pattern Advanced Menu and uncheck the “Set all to SAM Value” box at the top right. Then, check the box again. This will mark the event as edited, and the SAM value will be properly applied. Hit SAVE and you are ready to rerun your analysis.
So again, if you want the LPP set to SAM, open the Advanced Menu, unclick the SAM checkbox which will then show the LPP set to 100% for all the Commodities. Then recheck the box which will show the LPP set to SAM. Hit SAVE and rerun your analysis. This action tells IMPLAN to actually apply the SAM.
If your Spending Pattern event was edited in any manner, this bug does not affect you. Also, this only applies to events created from June 2019 through November 2019.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach your to your designated Customer Success Manager at 800-507-9426 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We at IMPLAN apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
2. Some characters cannot be used when naming Regions and Projects
Certain characters cannot be used when naming Regions and Projects in IMPLAN that include: “.”, “?”, “+”, “%”, “#”. Using these characters will trigger the following error message, which is nonspecific to the error.
Refrain from using these characters when naming Regions and Projects. MRIO analyses take longer to finish calculating results.
3. MRIO Analyses Take Longer to Finish Calculating Results
An MRIO study requires a much higher number of calculations than non-MRIO studies as the trade of all the sectors are analyzed between regions. As such, we expect these types of studies to take longer to finish than non-MRIO studies. The amount of time it takes to finish will depend on the number of events and the number of groups that the user has entered. The expected time for an MRIO analysis to finish can range between a few minutes for smaller studies to several hours for larger studies.
The best practice for MRIO and other larger studies is to leave yourself lots of time to run the analysis! Keep an eye on the Progress Panel in the lower right corner of the Impact screen that will provide notification of the progress of the study. Notification will be provided if the study has timed out. That can happen for various reasons with the most common being that the size of the study exceeds our processing limits. Admittedly, we are still exploring, testing, and discovering the current limits of the tool's processing power and the amounts of data that it can communicate to our servers at any one time. That said, in order to minimize wait times or potential for "timing out" with regard to processing performance, we suggest limiting your MRIO analyses to a) include a maximum of ten Events and b) limit your number of combined Groups to two or three. If your MRIO analysis absolutely must include more than ten Events or Groups which contain more than three Combined Regions, we suggest that you contact your Customer Success Manager at 800-507-9426 or email@example.com to personally discuss potential strategies for managing the size and/or complexity of your study.
4. Small studies can take an unusually long time to finish
The user kicks off a large study and wants to run a second study while the first is processing. Even if the second study is a small study, it doesn't finish in the expected time frame.
The best practice for larger studies, including MRIO that we expect to take longer, is to plan ahead. Run smaller studies first since studies that are kicked off after a large study get placed in queue and will not start until the large study has completed. This is to prevent too much data hitting the server at once and crashing the system. The second study analysis will automatically begin without any further action from the user.
5. Studies with more than 100 Events may not complete
The user enters more than 100 events and the study times out even though it is not an MRIO study.
We are still exploring, testing, and discovering the current limits of the tool's processing power and the amounts of data that it can communicate to our servers at any one time. That said, in order to minimize wait times or potential for "timing out" with regard to large studies, we recommend entering less than 100 events for one project. If your study requires more than 100 events, we suggest that you contact your Customer Success Manager by calling (800) 507-9426 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to personally discuss potential strategies for managing the size and/or complexity of your study.
6. Spending Patterns are only available with 2017 data
When using the Industry Spending Pattern and the Institutional Spending Pattern, there is currently no way to change to historic data sets. Therefore, all analysis will be run on the 2017 Spending Patterns.
Data about historic Spending Patterns can be obtained from your Customer Success Manager by calling (800) 507-9426 or emailing email@example.com. Then the 2017 values can be overridden to reflect spending in a previous year.
7. Filtering in Region Overview
When looking at the data in the Regions Overview, there is an intermittent issue facing filtering. In a section that requires the use of a filter to choose a specific Industry or Commodity, the list of possibilities is not always populating after the first use of the search.
To do another search, just navigate back to the same screen and the Industry or Commodity list should be there again.
8. All Events wiping out despite Saving them
If the users time out on the impacts screen, all events are being erased even if their work is saved. This occurs when a user is idle for too long causing the project to crash. Our product team is actively working towards fixing this issue.
We recommend that a user leave the impact screen while the project is running or any other time that they are NOT actually active creating or editing on the page.
9. No notification when an Industry does not exist in a Region
When running an Industry Event on a Sector that does not have any activity (no Output, no Employment, etc.) in the Region used in the analysis, the user will get all zero results. This is because there is no data or Sector averages for that industry in the Region, which is necessary for IMPLAN to estimate the effect of some change in that Sector within the given Region. IMPLAN does not provide any notification to the user that the Sector does not exist. When running an Industry Event on a Sector that doesn't exist in the Region in combination with other Events that successfully produce non-zero results, it is very possible to overlook the fact that one of the Events has produced all zero results.
You can ensure the Sectors you will be impacting exist by checking for data on the given Sector in the Region Details. Study Area Data (Industry Summary table) is a great place to check. Users can model the effects of a new Sector being introduced to a given Region by either first adding the Sector by customizing your Region and then modeling the effect using an Industry Event or by taking an Analysis-by-Parts approach.
Updated November 27, 2019