Being a turnkey solution based in an integral platform, the first step of this project was related to data acquisition. Given intrinsic conditions of the cattle industry, this provided a nice challenge. Usually, a customer will have operations scattered in different locations e.g. the feedlot being in one place and the slaughter house in a different one. It is also not unusual to have offices in a different location than the previous. So data acquisition must account for this characteristic. Then, operators at the feedlot won’t usually be highly akin to the usage of technology –so a friendly, error-proof system works much better. Finally, operating in a ranch provides excruciating conditions for hardware so options must be chosen wisely.
Second, we needed to design custom databases that would consider further work in both transactional and analytical environments. They also had to account for accessibility in different locations and thus cloud computing.
Next, analytics must be incorporated into the software –as data by itself provides limited value to the operation. To implement analytics, the user must be taken step by step from simple metrics and business intelligence tools; to more complex analyses. This is also consistent with the build up of data in the feedlot which takes time (e.g. one single cattle will take 4 to 6 months to finish its process and show its final result).
Finally, information must be made available to the user in a easy and timely manner. If knowledge cannot be generated for the user that requires it, when it is required, in a message that is well understood; then it provides poor value.