Our Rubik's Cube Analogy


YAGRO co-founder Dan Jolly presented an insightful analogy at Cereals this year. Taking part in the AgAnalyst panel discussion entitled “Integrating field data to drive efficiency”, Dan captured imaginations with a poignant metaphor – seeing farm data as a Rubik’s Cube, with value locked inside.  

Dan begins by stating there are “43 quintillion potential combinations of a Rubik’s Cube – which sounds a lot like farm data” - yet affirming unlocking it is something that can be learned.  

The agricultural Rubik’s Cube is comprised of all your scattered information. “Think Gatekeepers, invoices and yields on excel or stuck in a combine”, Dan says, before continuing “It’s just like an unsolved Rubik’s Cube. The red is next to the green, the green next to the blue. It takes you time to be able to put it all together to solve it and begin extracting value.”  

The value locked inside “is either monetary, saved time, increased knowledge, enhanced yield or even a good night’s sleep.” 

Dan acknowledges that “you can’t hit data with a hammer”, and that “farm data often sits on the shelf - an unsolved Rubik’s Cube and the value therein gathering dust.” Since, although farmers are adept at making the most of their days, with the demanding nature of the business, managing farm data and the value it presents rarely takes priority on the to-do list. “Perhaps due to a lack of confidence, or perceived complexity of the task of organising and managing the data to access the value.”  

Fortunately, however, “the beauty with advancements in technology is that we no longer have to spend days, weeks or years learning how to solve the Rubik’s Cube. There are tools and teams out there that can solve them, extracting and presenting the value, for you.” 

A clear example of this is a YAGRO farmer based in Kent, Alan Clifton-Holt, whom we’ve been working with for over three years now. “Alan approached us with a need to manage his data and wanted us to blow the dust off the Rubik’s Cube for him. He had a desire to understand and benefit from the true value of his farm data. An initial procurement review uncovered £20k of savings in that first year, which he’s compounded each year since.” 

Dan continues “Alan then requested some detailed crop and field analysis, working alongside his advisors, so that fundamentally all of the decisions made on-farm going forwards were data-led.” 

“Latterly he requested a drilling assessment, concerned that his drill set-up and window was impacting his yield. A dive into his data through field level analysis resulted in Alan adjusting his approach to drilling, including narrowing his window, and he’s now targeting an extra 2t/ha in yield. For him, that’s £120k in gross margin. On top of all the time he’s saved - he’s now also saving money. All he had to do was throw us his Rubik’s cube of data, and have it handed back solved.”  

To summarise, Dan concludes that “we must have our data in order, and it has to be integrated, so it can make sense and relate to all aspects of an operation”.  

The example of a Rubik’s Cube makes visualising the process of unlocking value easier, much like how the YAGRO platform provides simple visualisations of farm data, which empower on-farm decision making, ultimately driving value.  

“Imagine having someone solve the Rubik’s Cube of all your farm data for you and handing it back so you can extract the value for yourself. Imagine doing that today.”