Out with the Old, In with the New! Exploring Next-Generation Agronomic Trial Management

The Agmatix Agronomic Trial Management System is transforming how professional agronomists and researchers plan and manage vital field trials. A suite of sophisticated field trial data tools significantly reduces the cost and duration of trials, shortening the time to market for new agronomic products. A smooth transition to the end-to-end system of field trial data software is a readily obtainable solution for trial managers. 

Identifying Obsolete Field Trial Data Management Practices

The essence of agronomical research is innovation and the ability to successfully identify practical applications for new technologies and concepts. Unfortunately, human beings are usually creatures of habit. Even in a work culture that demands constant experimentation and a search for solutions, there is a tendency to unquestioningly rely on the established ways of doing things. 

The world’s most talented scientists and researchers are usually highly goal-focused and can become immersed in advancing their particular fields of expertise. Trial managers in particular can easily be oblivious to their dependence on outdated processes and procedures when they are conducting research and trials. It’s not unusual for trial managers to use the same methods and tools for managing agricultural field trials that previous generations depended on. 

It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether trusted and familiar methods, that have been proven over time, are an asset or a liability. Agronomic trials can be highly expensive and also require a major investment of time and energy from many different stakeholders and clients. Even when there is a sense that trials aren’t reaching their full potential, there is a natural reluctance to question existing practices and structures that everybody is familiar with. 

The scientific community and professional agronomists are attempting to meet the challenges of feeding a global population that is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050. They are simultaneously working to allow agriculture and food production to adapt to climate change and extreme weather events. The underlying objective is to achieve the UN’s Strategic Development Goal of Zero Hunger and efficiently conducted field trials are vitally important. We can’t tolerate a situation where trials are compromised, or their potential is restricted by obsolete trial management methods. 

Are Your Tools for Managing Agricultural Field Trials Obsolete?

During the last few years, we’ve seen game-changing technological advances. These include the development of the Internet of Things, advances in AI and machine learning, SaaS cloud storage, mobile technologies, and a host of other innovations. Individually, these new technologies are useful to professional agronomists and can be applied to field trial data management. When advanced technologies are combined to develop field trial data software, the potential to transform how trials are planned and implemented is astonishing. 

It’s definitely worth taking the time to assess the effectiveness of your current field trial data tools and data management software. The chances are that if you’re dependent on traditional practices and procedures, your field trials are operating at only a fraction of their full potential.

An upgrade to the latest field trial data software can kick start the Three C’s of field trials: collection, collaboration and compliance. If you’re concerned that your trials are inefficient on any level, the following checklist is an excellent starting point for a fuller evaluation. 

Self-Assessment Checklist for Trial Managers and Stakeholders

  • Is comprehensive planning for field trials unnecessarily time-consuming or demanding – do you lack the tools to centralize planning and maintain a broad overview?
  • Are you struggling to manage multiple tasks across your team, especially when stakeholders are located in different geographical locations? Have you outgrown your current solution in scale? 
  • Have there been times in the last year that you’ve been concerned about compliance, or do you waste time implementing compliance measures retroactively?
  • Have there been times in the last year that reporting to stakeholders has become a lengthy exercise in moving data? Do stakeholders receive relevant data in a timely manner and can they utilize data to contribute their full professional expertise to the project?
  • Is your collected data standardized, or is it stored on several different types of files and in different formats – or even across multiple locations?
  • Have you ever lost data or reached the end of a trial only to find out your data quality is poor because of outliers? Are you concerned about data security and how to effectively allocate permissions and access?
  • How much time is your team spending on manual data entry and manual data harmonization? How does this affect team morale, and do data entry requirements function at the expense of other tasks?
  • How many tools, in total, are you using to manage a trial from start to finish? Do you have a single dashboard or interface to connect all stakeholders and collaborators?

If any of these questions highlight issues that you’re currently experiencing, the chances are that you’re working with obsolete field trial data tools and are dependent on inefficient practices. With the new availability of data management software that combines major technological innovations in a single package, weaknesses in trial planning and management translate into serious competitive disadvantages. 

Companies that can conduct a greater number of fast, efficient, and cost-effective trials will significantly outperform competitors who rely on old-school methods. As the new agricultural revolution develops, the stakes have never been higher for companies that seek an increased market share of the agricultural and food production sectors – regardless of their core business or product niche. 

Transitioning Field Trial Tools is Simple and Convenient

The transition to a comprehensive field trial data management solution is a relatively simple process. The initial investment of time and energy isn’t onerous, mainly because the processes involved are logical and the software is user-friendly and actually intuitive. 

When you make the decision to modernize your data management software and embrace a high-tech approach to designing and managing trials, there’s a basic onboarding requirement and the need to learn a new tool. Mastering the tools themselves is essentially a straightforward process. Perhaps the real goal for trial managers is to grasp the full potential of the tools and understand from the offset the extent to which their projects can be transformed, and the freedom that the tools will give them.

One initial requirement is data movement and standardization. Dispersed data and existing databases will need to be standardized into a single format and moved to a SaaS cloud storage facility. Unique machine language and machine learning vastly simplify the process of secure data movement and dramatically shorten the old manual processes. Future data collection and upload is also radically simplified, in turn, streamlining the data analysis process. 

Choosing the Right Field Trial Tool for Your Projects

Every field trial brings its own challenges and parameters. Many are conducted in remote locations or on marginal lands and in sub-optimal conditions for effective testing and data collection. In the past, the tools for managing agricultural field trials had to be selected and tailored for specific projects and were sometimes improvised, or involved detrimental compromises. 

The Agmatix Agronomic Trial Management Solution is a comprehensive end-to-end product that can be applied to every field testing scenario. It rationalizes initial trial planning and makes data collection easy via a mobile app (even when field-level users are working offline). 

As data is collected, the Agmatix Trial Management Solution uses SaaS cloud storage to facilitate seamless collaboration between disparate teams. The Agmatix technology is designed to readily integrate with the user’s system, allowing a convenient plug-and-play solution.  Allocated permissions give users real-time access to standardized data, allowing them to work in sync. As work progresses, project managers maintain a clear overview and clients have full transparency. 

The Agmatix Trial Management Solution not only enhances collaboration and rationalizes separate but simultaneous work processes, it also meets compliance requirements throughout a trial and delivers faster speed to market. Companies that use Agmatix software can achieve a higher ROI on their research budgets and can potentially expand the overall volume and scope of their field testing. 

Agmatix successfully integrates the latest technologies to create a game-changing solution for professional agronomists. As these technologies evolve and improve, the platform is updated to take advantage of the latest advances. Recent updates include comprehensive study design, enhanced collaboration, and streamlined crop protection research. 

Agmatix also welcomes feedback from the world’s leading research institutes, scientists, agronomists, and clients. Their valuable user experiences and insights are analyzed and incorporated into platform upgrades. If you’re conducting field trials, and want to shorten time to market and achieve your full potential, the Agmatix Trial Management Solution has the power to completely transform your operations.