How Analytics Saved Fieldale Farms $170K Per Year

fieldale farms, chickenThe tight U.S. labor market and uncertainty about corn and soybean prices are dual challenges for U.S. farmers and food producers this year. Compensation costs are up, making it tough for many companies to find the skilled workers they need. And while overall feed prices are down slightly, international tariff talk is unsettling and fueling uncertainty throughout the industry.

Tweet: How analytics saved Fieldale Farms $170K per year

With these two factors largely out of its control, Fieldale Farms, a Georgia-based poultry producer, is using analytics to improve its margins where it can. Here is a look at the company’s efforts and its impressive results. (more…)

AI and Human Instincts: Better Together

Artificial intelligence, once the stuff of science fiction, is now so embedded in our lives that we often do not notice it. We are alternately grateful for and aggrieved by autocorrect on our phones. We take it for granted when Facebook tags our photos, Amazon recommends books, and detection algorithms help read our mammograms. Yet Gartner predicts there is much more AI to come. In its recent report, 100 Data and Analytics Predictions Through 2022, Gartner posits, “The introduction of artificial intelligence across all types of business functions in all industries will accelerate and broaden. It will manifest itself in many if not most daily tasks from personal to professional, yet result in net job gains.”1

Tweet: AI and human instincts: better together

That last part intrigues me, the notion that AI will create, not eliminate, jobs while becoming more enmeshed in our personal and professional lives. My theory? It’s because artificial intelligence greatly complements but cannot replace human intuition. AI and gut feelings – like bacon and eggs, they are better together. Here are three organizations using AI in 2018 to enhance human intuition, improving profits and lives. (more…)

How Data and Psychology Can Help You Identify Consumer Preferences

Humans are born curious. We spend our lives building relationships with others, wanting to know what makes our peers act the way that they do, and why they make the choices that they make. Shouldn’t companies be doing the same with their customers?

Tweet: How data and psychology can help you identify consumer preferences

Fully understanding consumer preferences begins with understanding the situations they are in. Will they act with reason? Or will their irrational thoughts overpower their rational mind? While both situations can be identified with analytics, there is more to the consumer than what the data reflects. With different situations impacting their purchase behavior, here are three ways to get a better hold on the consumer’s decision-making process. (more…)

3 High-Tech Trends That Are Changing Manufacturing

3 High-Tech Trends That Are Changing ManufacturingU.S. manufacturers have new incentives to modernize their factories. New tax rules make it more attractive for companies to invest in equipment, allowing manufacturers to immediately deduct the full cost of equipment purchases. Previously, companies were allowed to write off only a portion of the cost in a single year.

Tweet: 3 high-tech trends that are changing manufacturing

The new rules apply for the next five years at least, creating the potential for sizable investments and modernization in U.S. factories along with opportunities to leverage the data it generates. Where might manufacturers focus their equipment investments? Here are three high-tech trends poised to change manufacturing. (more…)

The Magic Bullet for Designing Better Dashboards

di-surgery-advisorHave you ever looked at a dashboard and been overwhelmed by the various dials, charts and gauges? Did you spend more time deciphering than analyzing? Don’t worry – you’re not alone.

As a career design professional, I often find myself involved in heated discussions around dashboard design. One thing I’ve learned is that everyone has an opinion when it comes to look and feel. And while you might not be able to completely please everyone, you can design a dashboard or any information-based view in a way that allows people to make better, faster decisions using a single element: context. (more…)

BI Software Insight: 5 Pitfalls of Using Spreadsheets for Business Analytics

BI-Software-Insight-logoMicrosoft Excel is one of the most popular software applications, and with good reason: it’s easy to use and helps you quickly and easily analyze data and perform simple calculations. It also allows you to visualize this data via simple charts and graphs.

But far too many people rely on Excel for more robust data analysis. Using spreadsheets for business analytics can get you in trouble. Spreadsheets can contain thousands of links, formulas, and cell references, creating many of opportunities for error. A cell reference that is off by even one row or column returns significantly different results than what you want, and can place your company at significant risk.

BI Software Insight recently published “5 Pitfalls of Using Spreadsheets for Business Analytics,” which was written by Dimensional Insight Product Marketing Manager Kathy Walsh. (more…)