Collecting data and then later aggregating and querying the data in a batch mode data mart for business intelligence is a leading way to apply big data and analytics. It can also help level the playing field for people in emerging countries, saving them time and delivering rapid insights on data queries.
One example is illustrated by Springg , a Dutch agricultural software company that works with farmers around the world. Frustrated with the lack of infrastructure in developing countries and cognizant of the need of farmers in these countries to gain access to the same agricultural intelligence as their richer counterparts, Springg wanted to find a way to capture valuable data from the field that could be assessed and then return rapid insights to farmers in more remote areas.
“For farmers, it is important to take soil samples so you can better understand the characteristics of your land, and what types of fertilizers that you can apply to gain optimal results on crops,” said Ashley Stirrup, CMO of Talend, which furnishes the big data integration software that Springg uses.
Historically, field soil samples are taken in the locale and then sent in for analysis to laboratories that could be hundreds or thousands of miles away.
“What Springg wanted to do was to establish mobile test centers in Kenya that could use Internet of Things (IoT) technology,” said Stirrup. By using the mobile test centers, Springg was able to collect local soil data with sensors and then run soil analyses onsite so local farmers could get immediate results on the condition of their soil and the best fertilizers for crops. Soil data was collected and analyzed directly at the field sites. It was later sent in to a centralized database where data could be further analyzed in a more inclusive and holistic context.
“For local farmers, this process was extremely effective and it sped the results of lab soil analyses by a factor of five,” noted Stirrup. “In a less developed area, efficacy of results and costs can be vital. It can make the difference between a family being able to support itself, or of a child being able to go to school.