The Drive to Produce More, with Less
Increasing global population, reductions in arable land and climate change are creating an urgent need to improve farm productivity in a sustainable way. Our customers are leading the charge through agricultural research and innovation in:
- Higher yield seed varieties – replacing older, less productive seeds with newer varieties that yield more or have improved traits (eg. drought resistance)
- Organic / biological / chemical plant protection – new products to protect plants from insects and fungus that destroy crops
- Fertilisers – creating new fertiliser protocols that improve yield and reduce environmental impact
- Soil microbes – developing healthy soil microbiomes that increase both plant robustness and yields
- Growing protocols – defining better ways to grow by providing exactly what is needed when it’s most needed, in any kind of environment (eg. field, greenhouse, etc).
Most agricultural innovations require Field Trials to verify their effectiveness “in the real world” where changing soil, climatic conditions and other factors all have an impact.
Field Trials involve the collection of a lot of data, across many sites, and in many configurations. Field Trial Management is about designing effective trials, managing field staff, validating records, collating and normalising data and analysing the results. It’s a process that consumes considerable time and effort.
QuickTrials is a field trial management system that speeds everything up by making the entire data collection, validation, and analysis process faster and simpler.
Instead of trial results only being available months after harvest, trial managers can see the performance of trials in near real-time as the data is being collected in the field. This faster feedback enables decisions to be taken earlier, which leads to quicker trialling iterations and improved innovation velocity.
Field Trial Management with QuickTrials
QuickTrials takes a new approach, using the latest technologies to streamline everything. Data is captured on mobile phones or tablets and then analysed centrally in near real-time.
There is no need to manually aggregate and transform data as everything is centralised and structured from the beginning, making it easy to compare trial data immediately. Trial coordinators can also see data as it’s being collected in the field, making it possible to spot inconsistencies or gaps before it’s too late.
The QuickTrials software works with any kind of crop and is very flexible. It’s suited for plant breeding, product protocols, fertiliser optimisation, soil biome regeneration, research or any situation where accurate data needs to be captured in the field and later analysed. The platform covers assessments ranging from small-plot efficacy trials through to large-scale commercial effectiveness trials. Whatever the type of trial being conducted QuickTrials greatly improves the experience and process!
No need to install or distribute desktop software
iOS and ANDROID
App can be installed on iOS and Android mobile phones and tablet
Field staff only see the trials they are authorised to participate in
Measurements can be filtered to match user workflows
Data can be captured offline and synced to the cloud whenever a network connection available
Powerful analytics tools can be used without manual transformation
API’s can be used to integrate trial data with other systems
An add-on that provides weather data for all of your sites.
Visualise Fields and Staff Activities
Field shapes can be recorded on devices with the help of high-resolution satellite maps. QuickTrials automatically calculates the size of each field so guesswork and manual measurements are not required.
Observations entered by field staff can be geo-tagged and shown on a map if desired. This can be particularly helpful when conducting large trials with machinery (Eg. Combine Harvester) or whenever trial coordinators need to track measurement locations.
Enter Measurements Effortlessly
See the sites and visits required to measure the needed traits
Enter measurements with the help of explanation images whenever required
The overview makes it easy to spot missing data. Expand and collapse details as needed
Documents can be attached to trials to provide additional information or tools
Manage Staff and View Results on a Web Browser
Experimental Trial Design
QuickTrials enables you to design seed variety, fertiliser and crop protocol trials effectively. Features such as predefined plot layouts (eg. randomised, split plot, latin square), anonymised seed codes and automatic tracking of control plots, greatly simplify experimental trial design and analysis.
QuickTrials also facilitates Good Experimental Practice (GEP) by ensuring trials are conducted in a consistent way and that data is properly structured to allow cross trial analysis.
QuickTrials utilises the latest technologies to provide a modern, effective solution that saves both time and money.
We use a multi-dimensional hypercube for data storage which allows for powerful analysis. Data collection also becomes simpler and more natural thanks to the hypercube. Trials can be conducted with as many dimensions as needed (Eg. site, variety, protocol) where each dimension can have any number of properties (Eg. site: name, location, manager). It then becomes simple to analyse the data in all sorts of ways to create insightful reports. Standard data warehouse operations such as roll-up, drill-down, slice and dice are all possible.
Under the hood QuickTrials uses Google’s BigQuery for storing data which provides a highly scalable, secure and enterprise ready cloud storage platform. This ensures a reliable way to store even the largest and most complex trial results while also making it easier to integrate trial data with other systems if needed.
QuickTrials has Something for Everyone
QuickTrials is very convenient for field staff to use with a clear, simple interface that helps guide the user at every step. An overview screen allows the field staff to check their data and see what else needs to be collected. Trials are automatically kept up-to-date and photos or comments can be added whenever needed.
For Trial Coordinators
Trial Coordinators use the QuickTrials management system to create, plan and execute trials. New trials can be set-up quickly using predefined traits and trial parameters, templates or previous trials. Coordinators can then assign the trials to specific Field Staff and schedule the visits to each of the sites at key growth stages.
As data is collected by Field Staff the Coordinators can see the information in near real-time, allowing them to check data quality, validate information (using GPS, overviews and charts) and ensure there are no gaps or inconsistencies. Once everything has been recorded correctly the Trial Coordinators hand-off the data in a clear process by setting the trial to “Validated”.
For Data Analysts / Scientists
Since data analysis is such an important topic we’ve made QuickTrials as flexible as possible, so Data Analysts / Researches and Scientists have more options when it comes to analysis. You can use the built-in charts or external tools if you prefer. Below are some ways in which the data can be analysed:
- Using the built-in reports
- Exporting the data to Excel (CSV file)
- Using 3rd party tools such as R, Tableau, Power BI or Google Data Studio. Essentially any statistics or reporting tool that integrates with Google BigQuery*
- Exporting to JSON or AVRO formats*
- Direct access through a programmatic API*
* Depending upon subscription plan
QuickTrials provides all of your trial data in a structured way that is easy to analyse. A Global Trait Library makes it possible to compare traits across many different trials, seasons and regions. Information stored in QuickTrials includes spatial data and can be directly analysed by most 3rd party tools via access to the BigQuery cloud SQL database. Data can also be expanded further by your own means (eg. importing information from data loggers, soil samples, etc) and incorporated into the analysis now or in the future.
For IT Manager
QuickTrials is loved by IT Managers for many reasons, including:
- The field trial management solution is built on modern, reliable, technologies that provide almost infinite scalability thanks to Google’s Big Querry
- It’s secure thanks to our use of SSL, good security practises, secure logins via Google authentication, periodic penetration tests and secure hosting providers such as Google and AWS that provide both physical and logical (encryption during transit and at rest) protection for your data.
- We follow General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines for regulatory compliance
- Data is structured and can be referenced across different geographic regions
- QuickTrials provides one of the best API experiences with simple, direct, secure access to one of the worlds most utilised database technologies. This makes integration a breeze and allows QuickTrials data to be used in many more ways within an organisation.
- Flexible data access management on BigQuery data by Google IAM
- The possibility to add your own data to BigQuery (Eg. automated loggers) for more integrated queries if needed
For Business Owners
QuickTrials is appreciated by Business Owners because it represents a low-cost investment that saves money with every trial conducted. The simple pricing model doesn’t depend on the number of users working with the platform so additional field staff and partners can be included without incurring additional costs. This makes it easy to involve more people during peak growing seasons.
The data always belongs to your business and can be accessed anytime it’s needed. Due to the increased data validation at capture, logging and addition of GPS coordinates, the data is more thoroughly vetted and trustable. Any discrepancies are easier to spot and can be traced back if needed, simplifying compliance demands. The centralised, structured data ensures longevity of information which contributes to value in both the short and long term. Future trials can be compared more easily against historical data, unlocking further insights. The standardised API’s ensure there is no data lock-in and if development is needed then QuickTrials also provide custom software development services.
QuickTrials is a powerful solution that provides a global overview of trialing activities across the company. It ensures a consistent process is followed and leads to trial data that is future oriented, easy to manage and grows in usefulness over time.
Top 6 benefits of QuickTrials
1 Improved data quality
Data quality improves thanks to validation, photos linked to measurements and GPS time stamps
2 React sooner
Trial managers see information as its collected and can react earlier to any data gaps if needed
3 Saves time and money
Considerable time and effort is saved, which lowers the cost of conducting field trials
4 Powerful analysis possibilities
All trial data ends up in a structured data warehouse, leading to powerful analytics possibilities
5 Low investment
No software to install and maintain on PC’s. Requires relatively little training to get results
6 Faster innovation
Trial results are available sooner, leading to shorter feedback loops and faster innovation
Adrián Carvajal Alvízar
QuickTrials has been developed in collaboration with the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and is used to trial new seed varieties in Africa and Asia as part of the Seeds2B initiative (https://www.syngentafoundation.org/seeds2b).
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Once you have signed-up for a QuickTrials account.
You can then download the QuickTrials app for Android or iPhone and iPad and start recording measurements on your mobile.