Turning data into decisions

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By Rob Hannam, CEO

Managers need accurate and timely information to make the best business decisions. Simple, right? We often see farm businesses and food companies that are swimming in data, but lacking in information. But having good data is just the start. Turning bulky spreadsheets or databases into something that is easily digested and useful is key. For example, displaying information from a spreadsheet or database in an easy-to-read format like a graph, chart or map will help team members make the right decision faster.

Rob Hannam, CEO of Farm Health Guardian says, “It’s one thing to collect data, its another thing to turn it info useful information and insights. Decision making is the whole point of gathering data, so taking the next step to visualize the data is important”. Accurate and real time information helps a manager understand what is working, what is not working, and then helps with prioritizing improvements and deciding where to target your efforts.

While it’s common to use livestock production software to record feed consumption, births, deaths and other production data, software tools are not generally being used to help implement and improve biosecurity. Weight gain per day and feed consumed per day are common metrics recorded by production software and used for decision making. However, this concept is not always applied to biosecurity using metrics to check whether procedures are being followed, whether trailers have been washed, or to look at people and vehicle movements for more biosecure route planning.

Digitizing biosecurity and making real time information available to farm managers and animal health staff is the natural next step. People mange what we measure – so making data visible can turn it into insights.

“Farm Health Guardian has helped us make biosecurity more tangible and visible by providing complex data in a much simpler way.”

“Farm Health Guardian has helped us make biosecurity more tangible and visible by providing complex data in a much simpler way. This, in turn, helps create better accountability from everyone and easier decision-making. We can now “see” an extremely clear picture with very little effort needed to find the information,” shared Karine Talbot DVM, Director of Animal Health, HyLife.

Pulling information from several systems into one combined dashboard is also a big step forward for many companies. The Farm Health Guardian biosecurity system can automatically and confidentially record truck movements on and off farm properties for biosecurity analysis. An interface between the company GPS system and the Farm Health Guardian system enables the truck movements from multiple truck fleets to be combined to show the full picture all in one place.

The looming threats of African Swine Fever and other livestock diseases are highlighting the value of and the need for data-driven biosecurity management. Biosecurity software tools that can gather data and turn it into useful visuals and real time information are becoming a critical part of making decisions that will strengthen biosecurity.

To learn more about strengthening biosecurity, visit farmhealthguardian.com.