Business Analytics in Agriculture: Emerging Practice and Research Issues
39 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2021
Date Written: June 5, 2021
Agricultural businesses face several critical challenges today posed by a growing population, poor socio-economic status of farmers in much of the world, and increasing environmental and sustainability concerns. These challenges are inherently related to analytics in farm-to-fork operations and supply chains, and as such, analytics can provide effective solutions for important problems in this industry. This article has three objectives: (1) synthesize the benefits of analytics for various stakeholders (e.g., farmers, processors) throughout the entire agricultural supply chain, and illustrate success stories from industry; (2) collate data and their sources on a digital platform we created for effective use of analytics in agriculture; (3) present fruitful directions for analytics to benefit the agriculture industry. To organize these directions, we first develop a typology of agricultural activities and emergent analytics issues. This typology has four themes: (I) Physical Supply Chain, (II) Markets, (III) Environment and Sustainability, and (IV) Policy and Regulations. For each direction for future research within each theme we discuss a trifecta: (a) What is the issue that needs to be investigated; (b) What analytics paradigm is appropriate for its study; and (c) What are existing and future data sources to obtain data-driven results and insights for the issue.
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