Agriculture has always had multiple layers of complexity; enhancing profits and daily operations are just a few areas that have come into sharper focus over the last few decades. Today, agribusiness leaders have more data at their fingertips than ever before and, because of this, more questions. Forward thinking agribusinesses are meeting the new challenges head-on by looking for ways to make better business decisions.
The Data Revolution
The innovations that developed sensory technology, mapping technology and tracking technologies have changed the way business flows between producers, retailers and consumers. In the early 2000s, utilizing data began to create the opportunity for the industry to better meet the needs of consumers.
By 2016, the agriculture industry recognized the value in taking successful data analytics from other industries and applying them to agricultural applications. The ability to gather, store and track data increased exponentially; it is estimated that, by the year 2050, farms will have the capability to generate 4.1 million data points per day. This is an impressive increase over the 190,000 points per day generated in 2014.
Take Control of Your Data
With so much data available across the ag industry, it is crucial to understand which data is actually valuable in moving your business forward. “We have been collecting data for a long time. But now the question is – what do we do with it?” says Mr. Scott Cogdill, Director of Agronomy Solutions for Proagrica. As you work to set up your data program, or rebuild your program to gain more value, consider these elements:
Identify Your Goals. Your use-case for your data should be the beginning of your journey. Identify what problem(s) you need to solve or what question(s) you need to answer, and then work to gather and track data that relates to that use-case. For example, you may want to know what your top-selling crop protection product is. The data you focus on should relate directly to your business and your goals; do not look for the data to lead the way.
Know Your Technology. “Don’t get overwhelmed; choose partners and technology that can scale with you,” says Mr. Cogdill. It is important to understand the technology you currently have and any technology you consider acquiring. Learn all the capabilities of any system, even the tools you may not use immediately. Make sure the assets of the system align with your goals and that you have the education and training to get the full value out of the technology.
Build Your Network. Connect with business partners that best support your own business goals. Make it clear what your goals are and expect any potential partners to be equally transparent with communication. Technology can be a key component in communication if you utilize systems that interface with the systems used by your partners.
Tracking and trending the right data over time only adds to the value. “Over time, you will see trends and patterns that you would miss without access to the right data. Without the right handling of that data, you are looking at missed growth opportunities, potential duplication of work and the risk of errors in manual data inputs or tracking,” says Marie Kennedy, Senior Product Manager for Proagrica.
Click here to learn more about Proagrica’s data utilization solutions for agribusinesses.