Modern agricultural enterprises generate vast arrays of information: data from accounting systems, satellite monitoring, soil analysis results, yield data, and various planned indicators.
With the introduction of new technologies into the company’s activities, this volume of information increases even more.
And here comes the problem: a lot of data has been collected, but it’s scattered and does not correlate with each other. The relationships are not built — modern business intelligence systems help solve this issue.
Optimization of production, creation of high-quality products, the building of supply chains has become possible thanks to the introduction of modern analysis of business processes of the enterprise, as well as providing managers of all levels with up-to-date information around the clock through any device.
In fact, business intelligence (BI) is a valuable tool for agricultural holdings, forming an information space around people involved, regardless of time and location, allowing to easily measure crop production rates, track productivity, yields, profits, and much more.
Many organizations worldwide have long been practicing this method of enterprise management. And agricultural businesses are no exception.
What Business Intelligence Means
Business Intelligence is a set of tools and technologies for collecting, analyzing, visualizing, and processing business data.
Simply put, it’s a whole class of applications that transform information from different sources into convenient and understandable analytics with data visualization.
Business intelligence consists of several related processes:
- Data mining
- Analytical processing
- Querying (obtaining information from databases)
Top managers, sales departments, financiers, and other company structures can use BI systems to solve business issues.
The company’s management can discover profitable and unprofitable business areas, salespeople can make plans and evaluate their implementation, personnel officers can assess the effectiveness of each manager, financiers can control loan repayment by borrowers, and these systems will help logisticians build a supply management plan.
The BI system connects to all IT systems operating in the organization and downloads all the necessary information.
Then the system loads the changes as needed. Thanks to this, the analysis results are received by the employees of the organization instantly.
When applied to agriculture, BI implies the use of different innovative technologies for data collection and processing, including:
- Mobile devices with farming apps
- Field sensors
- Cloud-based software
- Precision agriculture systems
- Automated field vehicle
These technologies help monitor all farming operations remotely, collecting and analyzing the necessary data almost instantly to enable smart decision-making for farmers.
BI in Farming Business
Agriculture is no different from any other business when it comes to the primary goals, including such as:
- Seeking new ways of cutting production costs without making sacrifices
- Aiming to maximize profits while satisfying demand and not increasing production costs
- Catering to consumer needs by offering a high-quality, healthy product
- Improving vendor and supplier relationships
When the agricultural business implements a business intelligence system, these goals are much easier and faster to achieve.
The Benefits of Business Intelligence for Farming
Traditional farming data collection and analysis methods are no longer effective in modern settings.
BI systems help gather and process information and enable farming businesses to make the most of this data, offering the following benefits.
Business intelligence inevitably leads to smarter decisions thanks to data precision, reliability, and relevance. In farming, it’s especially critical.
Growers cannot afford to make mistakes since they can lead to huge losses in yields and profits. That is why farming businesses need the timely data they can trust.
BI is exactly what offers reliable real-time data across the entire business operations allowing growers to see and analyze the impact of decisions they’ve made on specific fields and the organization as a whole or to plan future activities based on the current state of things.
Competition is also nothing foreign to a farming business. As growers in one region usually cultivate the same crop and produce the same product, they are doomed to compete for sales.
Business intelligence helps farmers gain a competitive advantage through making smarter decisions and finding opportunities for improvement to stand out on the market.
Planning is critical when operating a successful farming business.
And to perform smart planning of production in advance, farmers need to be aware of the expected market demand, labor availability, severe weather changes, and any other variables that could impact the business goals.
BI aids farmers in forecasting by gathering and providing historical and recent data to enable trends and anomalies detection.
As agri-tech is becoming widely used by farmers, BI helps build connections between multiple technologies to unite different data effectively.
This allows for developing valuable insights into farm operations based on information collected and analyzed by another tech.
Use Cases for BI in Agriculture
Business intelligence finds application in farming in different ways, allowing to enjoy many benefits for the business. Here are some of the use cases.
Planning crop production involves land availability and preparation, seeding, irrigation, harvesting, stocking, and transportation.
Business intelligence allows for using historical data for planning improvement, enabling farmers to rely on reliable information without making assumptions.
To maintain profitability, sales goals have to change according to changes in expenses. BI systems enable the farm’s finances monitoring to help enhance productivity and ensure the achievement of objectives.
Apart from being unpleasant, recalls can also significantly negatively impact the revenue and ruin vendor and supplier trust.
More so, tracking recalled items within the supply chain can be pretty tricky.
BI simplifies this process by offering data on-sell dates, batch numbers, storage conditions, harvest dates, and other necessary data to help minimize the recall’s effect.
Waste reduction is critical at every part of the production process since waste means spoiled products hence fewer items for sale.
Besides such types of waste as damaged vehicles, unnecessary irrigation or fertilization also impact the profit.
BI systems enable waste identification across all farm operations to help detect and solve the issues timely.
Overall, to stay competitive in the modern agricultural market, it’s critical to leverage the power of technology and business intelligence.
Treating farming like any other business that requires smart management, monitoring, and planning is key to success.