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Integrating the human element with manual input

June 12, 2019

Data is always most powerful when it’s combined from a variety of sources.
The more context you have available to you, the more informed your decision-making. Well documented, easy to explore information is always an asset, whether it’s validating tried and tested methods, providing extra support to a hunch, or creating the space for an experiment. Sometimes, we simply don’t know what we don’t know yet. Building technology for growers has made the 30MHz team appreciate just how many factors go into producing a healthy and economically sustainable crop. We know that a major role for a platform for digital agriculture is helping agribusinesses spot the relationships between these factors.

Augmenting knowledge

Sophisticated farming techniques and agricultural innovation have been around much longer than computers or the cloud. The most transformative among them have been tools that help human ingenuity and decision-making go further. We believe that to truly serve the needs of agribusinesses, a platform for digital agriculture has to help growers make the most of the insights available to them.

Two words: collaboration, and integration.

We’ve built a system that’s collaborative, and facilitates interaction around crop-level data, whether it’s expressed as a chart, heatmap, gauge or graph. With comments, tagging and groups we’ve made it easier for teams to exchange expertise, knowledge and observations on the crop conditions they’re monitoring. We’re bringing information together, and that includes the knowledge within teams that may not yet be recorded.

Integrating the human element

The agtech landscape is diversifying, and new digital tools are developing to help solve problems across the chain, and across niche sectors within agriculture. But while a great deal of relevant data comes from other systems (which we’re ready to integrate with), we know that there’s plenty of crucial information that doesn’t come from software or a sensor.

That’s where manual (input) meets digital.

Developing ZENSIE involves speaking to growers, and constantly learning about their challenges— and how they innovate to resolve them. Among the many things we’ve learned is that while agriculture is digitising, it still involves its fair share of hand-written notes. From pest observation during a crop round (or pest counting on sticky traps) to numbers on harvest or losses, key data is still recorded the old fashioned way. That doesn’t mean it should be siloed from other insights.

With the manual input feature, we make it easy to bring data collected the low-tech way straight into the ZENSIE platform, and interact with that data alongside crop-level data, or data from a climate control system. And, as with all other data in ZENSIE, users can share, compare and collaborate with colleagues. Growers in our community have gotten excited about manual input for scoring harvest, scoring pests and evaluating the effect of adjusted inputs on their crops. Consultants in our community have also pointed out the potential of manual input to digitise and standardise internal processes, through templates— one group in particular is excited about using standard forms for their advisory practice.

Have questions about manual input, or bringing agridata together? Get in touch below.

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