AgKonect just hit a big milestone that we have been working towards for four years, when we rolled out Power BI reports on our website! Let me explain …
Data module – Konect
The first part of AgKonect’s custom data systems for agriculture is a map-driven database with desktop and mobile interfaces. This uses a digital farm map and forms to capture and organise farm data and to drive workflow. The GBM Konect platform enables us to build powerful systems that are scalable to a complex workforce, at minimal cost. Our clients eliminate paper, errors and double-handling, and get ‘instant’ information to improve their control over operations.
Reporting module – Power BI
Clients were downloading data from Konect to Excel, and we needed a more integrated and automated analytics and reporting solution. The major horticultural producer SEEKA showed us how they had linked Konect to Tableau, to manage 600 Kiwifruit farms, and we saw the potential. We chose Microsoft Power BI, as it was marching ahead of its competition. We had a steep learning curve to build advanced reports, but we steadily improved. Automating the link between Konect and Power BI enabled clients to update their reports at the press of a button, instead of downloading a CSV and updating pivot charts. This put Power BI far ahead of Excel, and AgKonect became ‘end-to-end’.
The next problem was that Power BI was not practically scalable. The Desktop version is an individual file with inherent security issues when shared. In the Pro version a central file can be deployed securely to multiple users, but its deployment is ‘high touch’ and expensive for every user – Power BI Pro is not a viable solution for multi-user clients.
The breakthrough – Embedded Power BI
Embedded Power BI is a premium Microsoft service, which our partner Peter O’Gorman of AI Darwin provides to us. We have just rolled out our first embedded report, to a leading aquaculture company in Vietnam. Once we got the system set up, the actual deployment to six users took a few minutes. The users login via a portal on AgKonect’s website, from desktop or mobile. The cost is about the same as a single user of Power BI Pro.
This is a milestone for AgKonect to celebrate. It is the realisation of our vision, the product of a great deal of hard work by us and our partners, and the use of some incredible software by GBM Konect and Microsoft. At AgKonect, we are finally happy with our end-to-end product.