Business Intelligence Then and

By Kim S. Nash  |  Posted 2006-10-02 Print this article Print

Crop farmers wield global positioning systems and business intelligence tools to nurture profits in the field.


Then and Now

Agriculture: Business Intelligence
10 Years Ago Today 5 years from now
Seed, fertilizer and machinery costs recorded on paper. Costs tracked in computer spreadsheets and business analysis software. Wireless networks in rural areas enable use of handheld computers for tracking and analysis.
Tractors, combines and sprayers driven by farm workers. Heavy machinery guided by global positioning systems, with drivers in the cab monitoring the activity and, usually, turning the steering wheel at the end of each row. Driverless, robotic machinery with onboard computers pre-programmed with 3D visualization maps of the fields do all plowing, planting and harvesting.
Planting decisions made on farmer experience and instinct. Experience and "farm sense" supplemented with statistical analysis of historical trend data. Computer analysis and farmer experience further refined to include variables such as near-real-time data on international market demand and pricing.

Senior Writer
Kim has covered the business of technology for 14 years, doing investigative work and writing about legal issues in the industry, including Microsoft Corp.'s antitrust trial. She has won numerous awards and has a B.S. degree in journalism from Boston University.

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