Six Tips on How to Get the Most Out of Your Data

We’ve all heard it before: information is power. Yes, it’s a cliché, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. If you have information about where your farm business is losing money, wouldn’t it give you the power to do something about it?

With Farmplan’s Livestock Manager you have the tools to make more of the information available to you. By collecting, tracking and analysing data relating to your livestock you have the power to build a successful business.

But driving a Rolls Royce only works if you fill it full of petrol. Otherwise, it’s just a pretty looking car that’s comfortable to sit in. Similarly, Livestock Manager relies on the data you put into it to deliver true value.

Here’s a few tips on how to get the most out of your data:

  1. Integrate your data in one central location
  2. Moving away from separate notebooks, scraps of paper and spreadsheets and collecting data into one central repository (we’d suggest Farmplan’s Livestock Manager!) can revolutionise your business decisions. With all your data in one place, everything is in context, it makes analysis much easier and more accurate, delivering a full 360 degree view of your herd performance.

    “If you’re going to the trouble of collecting the data, make it work for you”, says Scott Millar of Farmplan. “Recording all of your data into one place will add multiple dimensions to data analysis providing a better level of business intelligence.”

  3. Identify opportunities for increasing efficiencies
  4. “Ultimately, the possibilities are endless. Wherever there is data that can be recorded, measured and analysed, there is the potential for that data to make a huge difference” claims Hollie Edwards, Vet at Wright & Morten Vets, who identified some specific areas for important data collection:

    • Calving ease
    • Veterinary interventions
    • Sire records
    • Vaccination programme
    • Nutrition
    • Grazing management
    • Accurate calf date of birth
    • Fatality data
    • Date bulls went in and out

    For more information on vet recommended opportunities, read our blog – Vet Recommended Data Opportunities.

  5. Be clear about what you want to achieve
  6. Go in with a plan. What do you really want to focus on? Ian Norbury who runs his family’s farm in Cheshire uses Livestock Manager to help improve efficiencies in a number of areas. One of his biggest priorities was to improve calving:

    “We record lots of data connected to calving as it’s one of our main KPIs and we’ve been able to improve calf survival, health and growth through making decisions based on these stats. Tightening the calving period, for instance, has enabled us to be more focused and has been genuinely life-changing.”

    By focusing your data collection and analysis, you’ll see healthy returns on the time you spend doing it.

  7. Streamline data collection where possible
  8. Did you know the Livestock Manager connects with EID readers and external devices? For example, if you use modern weigh scales, calf weights will be uploaded into Livestock Manager automatically, taking the hard work out of data collection. All you need to do is analyse the results.

  9. Be patient and benchmark
  10. Collecting data through seasons and over years, you’ll see trends appear and be able to assess your performance better, allowing you to make decisions that will make a positive impact on your business. But this doesn’t happen overnight, be patient, it’s worth it in the end.

  11. Act on the data
  12. If you’re going to all the trouble of collecting and analysing the data, don’t forget to act! It’s not just an exercise to look back at your performance, it gives you the tools and information to identify where you can make small changes to increase efficiencies, maximise profits and build a stronger business.

Read more about Farmplan’s Livestock Manager to see how it could benefit the performance of your farm business.