Data should be the heart of your poultry business. But what if your data degrades every time you move it from source to source? The impact can go unseen unless you have full control of your data with effective technology.

In truth, data collection and recording is not something new or particularly exciting. It was commonplace before the first computer or mobile device was even in our wildest dreams. People counted their flocks and herds a long time before “digital” was even a thing. This data is today the core of any system, calculation or analysis, but how does this data actually get there? Who is recording it? And how many hands touch any given figure before it gets to where it should ultimately reside? 

Your data degrades at a predictable percentage with every transformation/transportation or handling. What are those transformation points?

  1. On-farm data recording – on a piece of paper or in journal in each house
  2. From paper to farm excel sheet for review
  3. From farm excel sheet to consolidated company sheet or into an ERP
  4. From consolidated format to performance review reports and graphs
  5. From consolidated reports to Management report or Business Intelligence

Through these 5 stages data moves at least 4 times, and at every step there is a high likelihood of data loss or degradation – illegible handwriting, extra keystrokes, errors in formulas, rounding issues, pure data loss – you name it. 

If data degradation on average is a mere 2%, then on a standard European broiler operation of 10 farms 5 houses each, at standard placement head count of 30K per house and standard mortality rate of ~2%, you will misstate your mortality by about 2200 birds. If data degradation rate goes up to 5%, we are talking about ~6000 birds. 6 cycles a year gives you 36K birds – you can miss the equivalent of a whole placement of birds – which damages accuracy of your results and calculations throughout the business. 

What can be done to improve the situation?

  1. Reduce number of transformation points!
  2. Leverage sophisticated software and technology
    1. Adopt a consolidated structured database and Industry-designed software – ensures data validation, consistency and integrity.
    2. Leverage automatic data collection from equipment and IoT devices– No human manipulation should equal no data degradation.
    3. Use mobility tools to capture data at the source– data starts where it needs to reside, without multiple transformations.
    4. Employ exception reporting – validation reports that show anomalies or gaps in data can help identify weak points within your data collection process.
  3. Standardize data analysis, review and data collection processes over your entire business.Establishing unified business practices for data handling and management can prevent data loss and data degradation.
  4. Tightly link each component above with change-management practices, which we will talk in greater detail in our next discussion.

So, do you put data at the heart of your poultry business?

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By Nikolay Shchetikhin

11+ years working in poultry, numerous projects, and countries, at the front line of software implementations, first-hand experience of working with data and poultry companies. Passionate about making things happen. Helping people and companies to succeed and thrive. A strong believer in the idea of technologies helping people to live in harmony with mother nature. Enjoying off-work time with family, book, or motorcycle.

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