Data portability is a critical principle for farmers understand in order to capitalize on when using their farm data. Today, some Ohio farmers are sharing data with up to three trusted advisors and we see the potential to share with 8 or more in the coming years in order to receive information and recommendations. The main point is that farmers need to have the flexibility to share data with who they want. Therefore, data portability or simply the ability for farmers to reuse their data across interoperable applications is important to maximize options, benefit and value.
This week’s installment of “The Big Data Confusion” focuses on data “Portability.” The Privacy and Security Principles for Farm Data published by AFBF states that “Within the context of the agreement and retention policy, farmers should be able to retrieve their data for storage or use in other systems, with the exception of the data that has been made anonymous or aggregated and is no longer specifically identifiable. Non-anonymized or non-aggregated data should be easy for farmers to receive their data back at their discretion.” A Farm Bureau Big Data Survey published this month (May 2016) reported that 72% farmers indicated that the analysis of their farm data was very important or important in allowing them to obtain usable results and information. Therefore, making sure data can be ported or provided to multiple agriculture technology providers (ATPs) or those providing prescriptive agriculture services is important for farm success. Also important is the ability to retrieve data and store or share with other trusted advisors. Another interesting results of the Farm Bureau Big Data Survey was that 67% of the farmer indicated they will consider how outside parties use and treat their data when deciding which technology or service provider to use.
Because it is the important that growers be the ones in control of their own data, portability is key in moving that data and using it with a variety of other systems and platforms. Growers should have the ability to move data from one location to another, without penalty. It will be necessary for growers to review their contracts to determine which data is considered “anonymous or aggregated”. Sometimes it is difficult to interpret how data is classified, but having a positive working relationship with the ATP selected should aide in this process and make it understandable. Data portability is a must for the farm in order to have maximum opportunity for utilizing your farm data. Without portability, retrieval and sharing of your data can be burdensome and really minimize the ability to obtain information or recommendations from multiple data service providers.