You can’t manage what you can’t measure, but measuring — whether it be yield, ratios, or cash on hand — requires record-keeping. Moving to an online or Cloud-based data platform can leave some farmers feeling a little anxious about the security of the information they enter and save electronically.
“Farmers are busy, they’ve got a lot on their minds, and the last thing they need to be worrying about is who has access to their farm data, and who are they sharing it with,” says Laurier Poirier, product specialist at AgExpert with FCC.
When a farmer signs up to a platform, they should ask three questions:
- Who owns my data?
- Can I take it with me if I change platforms?
- Who is my data shared with, and why?
Poirier says that the first question is very common and most get the answer: “‘It’s your data.’ But question two can tell you a lot about the actual ownership of the data. With AgExpert, the platform is built so that if you decide to leave at some point, you can take your data with you, and your data is gone from our system and can’t be shared with anyone else.”
The last question as to who else may see the data is an important conversation to have, no matter what platform you’re using. “At AgExpert, both our Field and Accounting platforms give you the control to see each person or organization you’re sharing your data with. In one click, you can block or grant access to anyone you choose. Our commitment is that we will not share your data with anyone except for the people you choose to share it with,” Poirier says.
AgExpert is dedicated to providing privacy, building trust, and being transparent in ensuring that farmer data is protected to the highest standards.
When FCC moved their successful desktop platform to a cloud-based system, trust and security were top of mind. FCC chose Ag Data Transparent (ADT), a non-profit organization created by farm groups, producer groups, and ag tech organizations, to help farmers understand the relationship they have with the companies they share their data with.
ADT has developed a series of core principles, and in order to show that seal of approval, a company has to clearly state how they store, secure, and share their customer data, so that both suppliers and farmers know what they’re getting into. In 2018, AgExpert became the first Canadian ag tech company to receive Ag Data Transparent certification. Since then, FCC has worked with other Canadian companies and built awareness around this important issue.
“The Ag Data Transparent seal represents the commitment that FCC’s AgExpert platform is going to be very open and honest and transparent about how we use, store, and share farmers’ data, because it’s not our data — it’s farmers’ data. And because it’s not our data, they have a right to leave our platform. So on our platform, we make it super easy for farmers to share their data with other businesses that they choose, where it makes the most sense for their business,” Poirier says.
Looking ahead, the ability to securely share the data you choose will be a powerful tool. This could mean machine data from your sprayer, air driller or combine could be shared — because only you want to do so — with other businesses for analysis or other goals. “We want to put the power all in the hands of the farmers and help them understand that with AgExpert, it’s their data. We’re giving them the ability to show it with others, and make business decisions with that data in a transparent and secure way,” he says.
Privacy is important when considering any uses of farm data. Poirier adds that especially now, the ability to safely and securely share sensitive data with accountants, lenders, support businesses, and for government filing, is really resonating with farmers.
For more information about AgExpert, visit AgExpert.ca