The Importance of Data Standards

Today’s agritech landscape consists of digital tools that gather and record data about crops and commodities in order to serve a growing number of consumers. Two manufacturers may purchase the same commodity and utilize it differently, but they must both be able to share and access information about the same product. This is where data standards come into play, providing streamlined processes and guidelines that all players in an industry can follow in order to exchange information and conduct business more efficiently. In agriculture, data standards also reinforce transparency and immutability in the digital supply chain.

What are data standards?

Data standards are the rules by which information should be described and recorded. In any given industry, these standards are a crucial component to understanding how data is represented. If two companies record or describe data with two different methods of measurement or different procedures, there is a disconnect in the industry. For example, you can choose between a number of manufacturers when purchasing AA batteries because you know that the size and energy needed to power your remote control is represented the same across the entire battery industry. Establishing standards ensures that businesses and consumers are speaking the same language.

Why do we need data standards?

Having standards provides data integrity, consistency and accuracy. To successfully work with businesses around the globe, you must be able to share data effectively, and it must be interpreted correctly. As data standards are implemented into the supply chain, all sectors of agriculture can become more connected and the industry can function consistently and fluidly. Consumers can compare products and make precise decisions when information is equally weighted and recorded. Data standards eliminate barriers and allow the buying and selling of goods to be efficient and exact.

How is technology changing data standards?

Before farmers had access to the technology that exists today, they relied on a pen and paper to record information about their crops and transactions. Commodities trading involved a lot of trust and mechanical processing. With the growth of digital solutions, data standards have evolved and the technology available today has vastly shaped how information is stored, recorded and used to influence the world of agriculture.