We were engaged by a Forbes Global 2000 chemicals company to help define a solid data strategy. The strategy plan was to have data sets be internal or external (e.g., weather data), and also be near real-time, sensor-based data. Some of the issues faced were proper monitoring of crop and soil health and accurately predicting parameters such as the optimal amount of chemicals in fertilizer to maximize agricultural production and crop yield. Aggregating all possible data sets, analyzing available data, and forecasting chemical quantities had a direct impact to the product manufacturing, distribution, sales, and profits of the client.

We created and delivered a concrete data strategy that was based on the following tasks (among others):

  • Performed internal interviews and data/IT systems assessment to understand current state of internal data sources and identified data transformations needed in order to ensure data consistency 
  • Conducted market research and data set analysis to identify the most important third-party available data necessary for the requested forecasts
  • Developed master data management approach, where there is a single source of truth for all disparate and isolated data sources
  • Provided pros and cons among different data architectures and data governance approaches
  • Delivered detailed comparisons among various machine learning algorithms based on data inputs, explainability, accuracy and implementation difficulty
  • Designed an API, microservices-based architecture in order to have all data easily accessed and help client easily develop web and mobile apps to boost digital presence
  • Estimated number of Agile data teams, members per team and skills required in order to implement all data strategies we recommended
  • Provided plan for establishing presence in the mobile space, both on the Apple’s App Store and Google Play Store
  • Compared and recommended enterprise IoT platforms that would be responsible for processing sensor data
  • Recommended sensor hardware, sensor network architecture and data elements that sensors need to capture

Based on our analysis, if the client would implement the data strategies we recommended, internal development costs would be lowered by 20% and revenue would be increased by 15%. The client was very pleased with our deliverables and decided to hire us for the implementation stage.

Note: This work was performed prior to joining Stout.

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