Future of Agriculture 074: Leveraging Data To Optimize Commodity Decisions with Mike Neal of DecisionNext

Mike Neal is the Co-Founder and CEO of DecisionNext, a company that utilizes and analyzes data in a way that helps companies optimize their decision making. DecisionNext’s business relies on giving clients possible market forecasts in an event of a policy change. Regarded as a serial entrepreneur, Mike is fond of starting new businesses and has focused his entire career on mathematical models and its application to critical business decisions. He has founded plenty of SaaS companies, all of which provided highly focused analytics to business users.

In this episode, Mike shares what DecisionNext is all about and how it can help the agricultural industry. He also provides insight on the importance of recognizing patterns in today’s market as well as his thoughts on the future of agriculture.

“Having a rigorous view matters as long as it’s monetized through optimizing the forward position on the buy side or the sell side.”  – Mike Neal


This Week on The Future of Agriculture Podcast: 


  • His background on what got him to start analytics companies.
  • What prompted him to leave a good career to go on his own?
  • What is DecisionNext all about and what services does it offer?
  • Is there an element of machine learning that aids in their tools?
  • The two reasons why transparency matters.
  • How big is pattern recognition for today’s businesses?
  • How is working with commodity firms different to retail merchandising firms?
  • Why he says there’s no such thing as a true commodity.
  • What are the steps he takes in coming up with the next big idea?
  • His marathon analogy when it comes to starting a company.
  • His thoughts on the future of food and agriculture.
  • Does he see the government using DecisionNext to do sensitivity analysis on the food supply?


Connect with Mike Neal:




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Tim Hammerich

Tim is a strategic communications consultant, founder of AgGrad, and the host of the "Future of Agriculture" podcast. Originally from California, he is now based out of Boise, Idaho.