Aggregating data and big data
“The adoption rates are better for things that make life easier or life better than things that simply let us have an enhanced ability to manage data,” Griffin said. The example is equipment guidance being quickly adopted by many farmers but not until the last couple years worrying whether their yield monitor was properly calibrated.
The more people who participate in a system the higher the return value possible. Each individual farmer knows a lot about his own fields and more than any other fields in the county, state or region, but a composite of all that in-depth data can lead to new insight for each farmer participating.
But what is still a consideration is that 100 farmers could look at data and come to their own interpretation. And there is need for a local knowledge of how aggregated data might fit each farming operation.
The precision ag farmer needs a competent information data analyst and/or crop specialist for interpretation of big data. It is a growing belief that farmers need to share data so that it can be analyzed in conjunction with many other farmers’ data, university research data, Department of Agriculture data, weather records data and numerous other sources.
Data has potential value but not much if it is stored on one farmer’s computer hard drive or in a file cabinet. Griffin said, “When we process data and analyze it into information, communicate the findings and turn the intelligence gained into actions, then it has value.”