Big Data & Connectivity is Driving Digital Transformation of Animal Health

“Animal Health, like many other sectors, is in a state of transition”, states Richard Sibbit, Head of Animal Health at Proagrica.  “With unprecedented scrutiny from governmental and monitoring bodies, and a widespread hunger for innovation, businesses working in animal health that have a sound data and integration strategy in place could differentiate themselves amongst their competitors.”

Traceability in the food chain

With the global population set to increase at record levels, there is an ever increasing demand on our resources to grow with it.

On our current trend the situation is becoming unsustainable with antibiotic resistance posing a global threat. The World Health Organization (WHO) have warned of commonplace infections becoming untreatable and routine surgeries impossible. Far from being a mere industry concern, antibiotic resistance has entered the mainstream zeitgeist – company stakeholders and consumers are more concerned with robust traceability and antibiotic reduction than ever before.

Speaking on this subject, Richard Sibbit, Head of Animal Health at Proagrica, emphasised the urgent need for connectivity and meaningful integration in the industry to help address some of these significant challenges:  “For businesses in the animal health sector, connectivity means the ability to record the sale of vaccines and antibiotics to farmers and a thorough record of the exact clinical treatments taking place on farm down to total quantity used and daily dosage levels,” said Richard. “In the short term, this is the most efficient way to demonstrate compliance. In the long-term, intelligent use of this data can be used to take significant steps towards reducing antibiotics and boosting productivity.”

Informed decisions from intelligent data

In theory, better vaccination should lead to a reduction in antibiotic usage. Despite this, there’s little industry-wide, real time data providing actionable insight. By harnessing connected data solutions, it becomes possible to drill down into every facet of antibiotic stewardship – regional differences, product usage, disease incidents, weather conditions, seasonal variances – a complete overview of the data available, serving as a real-time foundation for monitoring best practice, management and a robust vaccination programme that works towards significantly reducing antibiotic usage.

Measuring business performance

In terms of revenue, data integration allows complete oversight and accountability, helping businesses to break down statistics by country, by region, or by business. If a business owns multiple vet practises, it’s now possible to benchmark, compare each practise, analyse market share and adjust business strategy accordingly. For example, average full-time vet equivalent turnover in one market or region can be compared to another, making disparities immediately apparent and creating actionable insight.

“Real time data integration and data management leads to informed business intelligence,” said Richard. “Straightforward accumulation doesn’t necessarily equate to profit growth. Are all businesses performing as they should? Or is there scope in a certain region or market? Connectivity takes out the guesswork by showing proportional market share and granting a better understanding of prospective areas of growth.”

This leads to a smarter corporate growth strategy that is based on observable data trends. Data integration can help visualise market potential, regional performance, sales levels, and other key business metrics via real-time charts, maps and graphs.

From data collectors to data consumers

For businesses in the animal health sector, enhanced data connectivity delivers the right tools to eliminate vague information and arduous communications between different businesses.

For example, consider the capabilities granted to vets if they were able to source data directly from their farmers’ systems. This would help provide more accurate and timely recommendations, whilst simultaneously eliminating the need to ask a huge number of questions over several hours. This also leads to precise guidance – how best to increase farm production by following exact steps. At every stage, this leads to a business interaction that is more unified, more accurate, and more profitable.

“Changes like these are not solely based on technology,” added Richard. “Big data and analytics are not about hiring hundreds of technology specialists and entirely revamping one’s infrastructure on a largescale. Data connectivity and big data is not just an IT project – it’s a mind-set change, it has to be approached as a revolutionary new business approach that captures real time data and turns it into real-world benefits for your business.”

The mindset change comes down to how business approach data connectivity and big data solutions. There has to be an end to mindless data collection, creating a static silo of information that offers no real benefit. Proagrica’s mindset is one of data consumption – become a data consumer rather than a data collector – your data should work for you. Integrate your data into your systems, make it as real time as possible, connect the dots between your operations, connect to your customers and supply chain, and your ability to increase productivity and add value increases exponentially.

5 Steps to Effective Data Integration

 Successful data and analytic implementation begins by asking the right questions. By considering the right areas in your business – and how they align with the overall strategy – it’s possible to drive business growth to an unprecedented level.

  1. Asking the right questions – a clearly defined business case will help set out the first stages of your data analytic projects, e.g. revenue growth, business performance, provenance, compliance, or antibiotic stewardship.
  2. Consume data rather than collect it – integrate your data, understand what’s recorded and what’s required. Don’t just create a useless stockpile – work towards creating data sets that are meaningful and that provide insight.
  3. Produce the required outputs based on specific business requirements.
  4. Integrate outputs into business strategy and implement them in a way that boosts productivity.
  5. Utilise data connectivity and the enhanced functionality provided by your systems to drive business growth.

“Every business can benefit from data connectivity in the animal health sector,” concluded Richard. “Data connectivity has already begun to transform animal health businesses for the better, from managing workloads to eliminating transaction errors to providing valuable insights. The Animal Health sector is, like many others, in a state of transition, but is also uniquely primed for innovative solutions that can transform both individual businesses and the entire industry.”

A more profitable future

As independent global experts in data connectivity within the animal health and agriculture sector, Proagrica has worked with businesses across the supply chain to deliver connected solutions that not only generate increased profitability but eliminate many common pitfalls in business.

Proagrica’s unique combination of industry expertise, technology and intelligent integration is the sophisticated future for animal health businesses – a new approach that streamlines operations and boosts profitability, while creating a sector that is more sustainable and compliant.

Your business can become more informed, efficient and compliant through advanced data connectivity. Visit www.proagrica.com to learn more or to request more information.

Proagrica, part of RELX Group, is a global provider of independent connectivity and data-driven support solutions for the agriculture industry. We deliver actionable intelligence to drive business growth across the value chain. Our superior products and services connect and empower industry participants to address their key needs around trading, productivity and compliance.

Our solutions are built around the key competences of data connectivity and data analytics delivering seamless supply chain management, supply chain standards compliance, and customer insight and engagement, essential for businesses looking to improve their value offering and expand in the modern marketplace.

Proagrica also encompasses performance-boosting farm management software brand Farmplan, and industry-leading publication Farmers Weekly.

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