Farm Data: Using Operational Intelligence In A New Way

Sometimes I think we limit ourselves on how we define operational intelligence. I mean, who says it can only apply to things like call centers or fleet management? Let’s break down those words and see what they actually mean. Operational, in this sense, refers to routine functions. Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge. Operational intelligence, then, should be any activity that acquires and applies knowledge related to routine functions. Anyone can do this, and they should. How are we supposed to improve those daily routines if we can’t measure them?

Take this recent article in the NY Times- “Working the Land and the Data.” The article describes how modern farmer Kip Tom uses data to improve the function of his farm in Iowa. He said “we’ve got sensors on the combine, GPS data from satellites, cellular modems on self-driving tractors, apps for irrigation on iPhones.” Mr. Tom dreams of a day when drones with infrared cameras will tell him which crops are in trouble while other farmers are currently take readings from combines every three seconds on a 60,000 acre plot- just imagine the amount of data that is. Real, operational data.Read more