Platform For Change
“Data” has become a strong buzzword in the equine industry. But, what does the word data mean? Data is defined as facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis. In our world, it can be anything from competition results, info about a horse’s identity, evaluation of progeny produced, etc. It is information related to a horse’s identity, competition performance, or breeding value.
How is a database different from a data platform? When most people think of data, they think of a database that holds it. Currently the equine industry is fractionalized because each organization holds its data in their own database and these databases do not communicate with each other. This information being kept separate is detrimental to all involved because it prevents beneficial analytics and insight from being produced. Even websites that have created an “international database” of information are creating them through manual input or through contracts where the information is downloaded into their database. But they still don’t connect the various databases and help them speak to each other. Enter…the data platform. A platform is a centralized system that collects, integrates, and manages large sets of structured and unstructured information from different sources. It finds related information in different databases, then sorts, organizes, and merges it so you can have access to better and more useful insights. It also helps “clean” the data in various databases by enabling comparison to be made between data sets for verification.
A great example of a platform that is well known to everyone is Expedia. Expedia collects information from various sources like Delta, American Airlines, United and other airlines. When you search for a flight, it takes the data, organizes it, merges the available flights together and displays the possibilities in an easy to understand way so you can find the best flight, in the shortest amount of time, in one location. Expedia doesn’t “own” the data it gets from those companies, it is just the third party hub that merges it to produce a more productive and useful experience for users. Amazon is also a good example. Platforms are becoming very common and now provide the majority of experiences in today’s society.
Platforms are also very different than a centralized database. A platform allows organizations or companies to continue to use their current systems and still benefit from seeing the combination or relationship of their information to that in other systems. It also allows individuals to see the whole picture and access information quickly and efficiently instead of looking in multiple places.
But what does this have to do with horses? Too many individuals in the equine industry are stuck in the technology of the last century and insist that a central database is the answer. But that will never be possible. Because of political, geographical, and organizational boundaries, a central database is not an option. Nor is it necessary.
Today’s technology allows for a platform that supports all areas of the equine industry. A platform, unlike a database, brings benefits to all levels of equestrians and the organizations that support them. From delivering higher level analytics and business intelligence to competition and breeding organizations to helping individual owners and breeders make better purchasing and breeding decisions. It even supports research and growth in areas such as equine medicine, nutrition, genetics, and product development. A platform can remove any of the existing barriers to growth, and provide the foundation needed to create positive change in the industry.
But the change can only come from you. Yes, that’s right…you. You can ensure that accurate information is recorded with any organizations your horse is registered with, whether it is a breed, competition, or other. You can positively ID your horse with a microchip and have it recorded in your horse’s registration. You can ensure that new names or transfer of ownerships are attached to the existing identity. Every database and platform is only as accurate as the information that goes into it and that is where you can make the difference. Exciting times are ahead as more intelligent technology such as a platform is brought into the equine industry. Together we can bring a platform for change. Powered by Equicore…fueled by YOU.