'Easy to Use' Is a Must for Software Developers

In November of 2018, Stratus Ag Research interviewed 1,560 farmers from across North America and asked what was important to them in their choice of field data management software.

Software that is easy to use is the most important factor and it is also a strong driver of preferred software brands. There was very little difference between Canadian and US farmers in the top 5 most important factors.

However, when you look a little deeper you will find there are clearly two distinct groups of farmers who want something very different from their software, and user perception data shows us that it is difficult to be all things to all people. 

Precision Farmers:  There is a segment of farmers who see the software’s ability to meet their precision farming requirements as most important in their choice of platform.  A platform must have the capability to create variable rate or management zones and easily develop prescription maps.

Simple, Secure Record Keeping:  This segment of farmers places a greater importance on easy to use record keeping software that maintains integrity in data ownership for a reasonable cost. 

Beyond what farmers see as most important in a software platform, Stratus also asked farmers what benefits they experienced from using field data management software on their farm.  Almost 90% of farmers reported deriving one or more benefits from the use of software; the most frequently mentioned were associated with decision making support, gaining efficiencies and improved planning.

Farmers have a lot of options when it comes to choosing a field data management software platform. There are many companies that are developing solutions to help farmers with the challenges and opportunities presented by the massive amount of data being generated on farm.  The digital ag space continues to evolve with new investments, acquisitions and new solutions.  The product offerings are many and varied.  To be successful, software developers need to stay in tune with what features farmers see as important, but also understand how those features translate into benefits realized on farm.

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