Big Data Series: Why You Need It and How to Implement It
26 September 2016
growers use Big Data information every day, sometimes without knowing it. Climate
predictions and weather forecasts are based on Big Data algorithms that predict
the future based on historical conditions and current data from the local or
regional area. Just as with predicting the weather, the information that comes from
Big Data mining can be interpreted and used in many ways. And when properly
analyzed, Big Data techniques can give you useful information that offers real
assistance with your operation.
Why You Need Big Data
Implementing Big Data can produce some real benefits for your operation. Not convinced yet? Take a look at some of the benefits below:
- Want to be better than your neighbor? Because
Big Data encompasses a lot of information from several different sources,
analyzing and using that data can help you create some really big-picture
strategies so you can out-think and out-produce your competition.
THE BENEFIT: Being able to track market trends and determine the most effective times to sell your products might let you position yourself favorably from a financial perspective.
- Cut back without cutting back. The
information gained from your Big Data implementation can help you determine areas
where you can run your operation more efficiently while reducing excess or
THE BENEFIT: This can lessen overhead costs and increase your overall profitability.
- You’re only as strong as your weakest link. Using
both micro and macro operational models can help you pinpoint exact areas where
your production is lagging, so you can determine the best ways to boost both growth
and yield for your specific fields and crops.
THE BENEFIT: The information from soil sensors, weather forecasts and regional crop reports can help you manage your farming operations.
- Don’t get left behind! As Big Data
implementations and strategies become more common across the business world, it
makes sense that growers too, will need to adopt these technologies if they
hope to stay competitive.
THE BENEFIT: Beginning the process now means you’ll have a head start on using the information Big Data can offer.
you get from Big Data applications can help you meet both short-term and
long-term goals while making sure you’re using your resources for your farming
operation in the best ways possible.
Implementing Big Data Processes
In January of 2016, the Congressional Research Service published "Big Data in U.S. Agriculture," an examination of the most common uses of Big Data in agriculture and how it’s currently used by farmers, ranchers and agribusiness owners and managers in the U.S.
quite a difference between the public data collected and compiled by government
agencies, and what’s been gathered on the private level by companies and
individual growers. Public Big Data sources collect information according to
federal and state regulations (think: privacy concerns), whereas private firms
may use the information they collect to provide services to their clients in a
wide range of industries.
The scalability of precision agriculture has made it a breakout technology in the field of agriculture, with useful information collected through:
- GPS mapping
- soil sensors
- yield monitors
publicly available Big Data and the analytical tools used by service providers are
combined, the information can be used to create strategies and give you a significant
competitive edge in the modern agricultural marketplace.
The equipment needed to harness Big Data is not cheap. Most growers start by retaining the services of a company that specializes in precision agriculture, and then they work their way up to larger implementations and applications over time. The ability to scale the implementation like this is a huge selling point for Big Data analytics and offers promising results for agricultural operations now and in the future.
To continue learning more about big data, check out the third and final part of our series here: Big Data Series: Modern Day Concerns