Great news! No matter how simple or sophisticated your grow facility, you and your team are already collecting a treasure chest of valuable data. All you need is a master key to unlock your data and put it to work for you.
Most cultivators are focused on growing the best quality plants with high yields and high profits. Growers with past experience and honed techniques often do well with their intuition, but with the wholesale price of cannabis dropping quickly, there is a constant need to do more with less.
Seeing your grow data in an intuitive and efficient format can be a powerful tool to align and focus your team. Here are just a few questions that your data can help you answer so you can increase your profits by growing more of the right products.
Your “best strains” can be very different depending on where your product is headed. The best strain for raw flower on the shelf is often different from the best strain to send for extraction or other processing. Also, some strains are much more likely to get microbial infections or fail other lab tests.
It can be very expensive and unproductive to grow too many strains – matching your needs with your data can really help focus the team and improve your operations.
One basic understanding is that greater yield per plant means more product and more profit. So as you’re planning your current and future grow cycles, it can be very powerful to know what you can expect from each harvest for each strain.
This becomes especially meaningful if you have multiple facilities growing the same strain. If there are any big gaps in strain yield, that means you can grow more and earn more by implementing best practices from your more successful cultivators.
For every dollar you make selling raw cannabis, a certain percentage of that dollar goes to your cost of growing your plants. That cost is broken down into categories such as nutrients, water, electricity, labor, rent and many more.
Understanding the biggest cost categories can enable the team to focus on areas where you have the most room to create significant savings and drive down your cost per gram.
The answers for each of these three questions can be found in your seed-to-sale and accounting software where you’re already collecting a lot of valuable data. What other types of data are you already collecting?
Although each state in the US, and every country outside the US, has different regulations, nearly every cultivator is collecting the following types of data:
- Nutrients & soil
- Yield & processing
- Laboratory testing
More sophisticated organizations are also tracking:
- Environmental metrics
- Supply & demand
- Spot pricing
- HR / Payroll
You have the vision, the data, and the team to really grow – but where and how do you get started?
First and foremost, start by identifying what you’d like to accomplish in plain English. For example, “Our company wants to increase revenue without increasing costs” or “Our growers want to improve yield by weight and by THC.”
Once you’ve nailed down the core questions, hone in on data that you’re already collecting in your seed-to-sale, accounting, and other systems. Identify what specific information (reports, metrics, etc.) would help inform your decisions.
Then, pick one specific question or objective to get started. This is crucial! The most successful data projects start off with a laser focus to start seeing quick returns. As your team gets more comfortable interpreting and using your data, you can move on to the next objective on your list to address.
Finally, put the pedal to the metal and start using your data to improve your business. It’s critical that your reports or metrics are intuitive so that they enable you to make more timely, more intelligent decisions. The most important thing about data is what you can do with the information you receive. If the data you’re looking at doesn’t make sense, it’s not your fault! If your reporting isn’t actionable, it’s either the wrong data or it’s being presented in the wrong way.
If you’re still stuck, we offer a free data consultation to get you started on the right path. If you’re interested in the examples above, we have dedicated modules to help you work through each consideration. And you can always send us a note to chat about what’s on your mind.
Overall, data can be an incredible toolkit and ally in your quest to grow the best cannabis at the best price.