Technology evolves at a rapid pace and organizations must adapt to changes as soon as possible in order to generate sources of competitive advantage. The digitalization of the industry is a revolution that will change (and in fact is already changing) the paradigm of industrial manufacturing, and those organizations that will manage to catch the wave of Industry 4.0 will achieve success in their respective sectors. However, this transformation is not only affecting the secondary or industrial sector, but is also affecting processes in sectors traditionally considered less innovative, such as the primary sector.
In some farms, for example, GPS sensors have been placed to measure the position of the cows allowing also to count the number of steps and their movements. This can be useful to allocate livestock in real time, in case of the farm where the cows are in the open-air field. However, some organizations have gone further and have begun to exploit the data provided by these sensors.
Cow insemination treatments have an important cost for a farmer. They should be done when the cow is in its fertile cycle which comprises a small time slot of about 16 hours every 21 days. To make the things more difficult, each cow has a different cycle, so it can be difficult for a farmer to guess when is the best time to inseminate each cow.
Fujitsu began to collect the data of the movements that make thousands of cows every day and started to process it to see if something could be found. The data volume was very high and could not be processed quickly by a normal computer. Therefore, a set of servers located in what is called the ‘cloud’ with a much higher calculation capacity was used. With this technology Fujitsu developed the program called Gyuho SaaS and discovered a pattern that showed that cows moved much more precisely in their fertile cycle. Thanks to this, it can be predicted more quickly and accurately when a cow is in the fertile period and therefore they can be inseminated with more chances for success, allowing to achieve a success rate from 44% to 90% in insemination treatments.
But that is not all. Apparently, it was discovered that the probability of producing male or female is different depending on whether insemination is done at the beginning or end of the fertile cycle, so the use of this software also helps to increase the probability of getting offspring with the desired gender. In addition, this software also allows monitoring the health status of the livestock or estimating the production that a farm is going to have.
This is only one example of the potential of the big data analysis. This can also be applied to people and not only to cows. Companies have a lot of our data: phone calls, credit card expenses, electricity and water consumption, allocation through mobile phone, etc. With all these data that can be crossed among themselves, we can find that companies know more about us than ourselves.