"I recently had an IT guy visit me, who thought that all we can do at Vencomatic Group is bend iron. However, he went outside ‘wagging his tail’, after we had shown him the beautiful things we do with data management."
Bas van de Langenberg is a Software Engineer and Project Leader, together with his team he ensures that farmers get a better picture of what is happening in their barn. With data management: "I often use soccer as a metaphor. In the Netherlands, we always shout loudly about old trainers like Hiddink or Advocaat, who use the old-fashioned skills to manage their team. But in the meantime, a young generation of trainers is evolving and making much better decisions. Thanks to data.”
Soccer and farmers get better because of data management?
"As a farmer you are playing soccer somewhere between the Champions League and lowest class, but thanks to Vencomatic Group you immediately start in a high class. But then everyone has to realize how important data and data management are. We have to accept that we not only have to innovate mechanically and electrically, but also in terms of software. You can't teach farmers anything about their profession, but you can support them.”
"From data with love, I often say: the film 'From Russia with Love' was the first James Bond with gadgets, the nerds of those days loved it. A computer nerd used to be very recognizable as well: put them in a dark room, throw in a few pizzas and beautiful software comes out. Today's nerds are more ordinary, less stereotypical. Like me, haha."
What can you do with data in a barn?
"We collect data from different sources and bundle it for the farmer in a dashboard. We use data from our own systems and machines, but also from third-party climate computers. We can help the farmer remotely with problems, in the future we can even predict and prevent problems. Soon you will have an app that helps the farmer manage his barn, problems and causes can be tackled faster. Because you can search in a targeted way.”
"We have developed various dashboards, with important KPIs for the farmer. We are also working on 'heatmaps' to see which part of the barn an egg comes from. You can then see whether it matches the expectations, we look for connections. ‘They never lay eggs on that side of the barn', a farmer might say, but now you can check it to see if it's really the case. We need to know for sure, because if you draw the wrong conclusion, he'll lose confidence.”
"Of course you still have to work on feeling and experience, data is only instrumental. But the combination is golden, I firmly believe in that. Maybe I would have become a much better soccer player with data at the time, haha.”