The agricultural industry has dramatically changed over the years. Take a trip through history with us. Every state has a rich history in agriculture. From tomatoes in New Jersey to wool production in Wyoming to cattle production, both beef and dairy, throughout the entire United States. 100 years ago, there were three times as many farms as there are today. Thinking about to the early farming days, it was horse drawn plows, coal powered engines, small dairies providing milk for one family, and a few head of beef cattle providing the meat for one family. Today, that looks drastically different. Technology and data have advanced our industry and along the way increased productivity, efficiency, and profitability. Today, one farmer can feed 168 people. How incredible is that!
With the advancement in technology, our systems have become more complex, and the dairy industry has become more business minded. Data is king in today’s day and age. Most dairies have put those physical cow cards on the shelf and adopted computerized herd management systems like BoviSync, DairyComp or PCDart. The data these systems collect is powerful in terms on assisting in better decision making. With that in mind, it is likely the reason we have seen an increase in the deployment of cloud-based data management systems. With the correct implementation, cloud-based data management systems can increase efficiency, productivity, communication, and standardization among team members.
[LEARN MORE: Ida and ABS]
Consider these benefits when deciding if a cloud-based data management system is right for you.
While it could be done, I’d say it is pretty tough to take your computer with you in the feed truck, while walking pens, or breeding cows. Having the ability to access your data everywhere at any time of day as well as the capability input data when you are out of the office. Cloud-based data management decisions gives you the flexibility to enter data and reduce your manual entries. Ponder on the ability to reduce your in-office data entry time and dedicated your time elsewhere as you please.
Reporting Consistent and Accurate Data
Your system’s data is only as good as what is getting put into the system. If the data behind any of your standard reports you may have on your dashboard is incorrect or partial, you may be getting a false sense of how thing are going. Utilizing cloud-based data management systems to set up recording standardization. The option to automate lists or protocols is more possible when data is standardized.
Data Security and Ownership
While your financial data of your operation may be protected, it is not the only pieces of business data that describe the well-being of your operation. Your herd and farming management programs contain very sensitive business data. With cloud-based data management systems, you can increase data security and ownership of your data. Usually, you have the control to provide login access only options for those who you want to share the data with.
Technology is temperamental. You can never plan for a device to fail or point a moment when documents vanish from a device. Lets not forget about the amount of storage needed on the device. Cloud-based data management systems give you the flexibility to use multiple devices or transfer data to new devices all with the click of a button and a stable Wi-Fi connection.
Not everyone adapts to change as easily, especially with technology. Make sure the tools can customize to your operation’s needs, but also, consider the training needed for employees. On the bright, the environment today is a bit easier to explain with cloud-based data with iCloud storage, Google Drive, or Dropbox. These tools are becoming everyday use in our personal lives even outside of work or farm life. However, people are the key to successful implementation.
As we progress more in technology as an industry, user adaptation will only increase. Cloud-based data management is here to stay in terms of implementation on dairy farms. Herd monitoring and utilizing the data to make decisions on the go is why at ABS we offer a cloud-based digital assistant, known as Ida. This tool is designed to assist you in reproductive management and herd health. Ida even assists in providing easy to understand analytics of your data. Does Ida sound like something you should consider?
Data is king, but it’s only beneficial to your operation if it is accessible, secure, accurate, and implemented well. Learn more about cloud-based data management systems by reading our article originally published in Progressive Dairy.