JUNE 2024

Anglo American

Anglo American is one of the world’s most significant mining companies, employing over 90,000 people worldwide.  The company is ambitiously pursuing more sustainable fertiliser solutions with the naturally occurring mineral polyhalite.  Polyhalite is used as a multi-nutrient fertiliser that is more environmentally friendly than artificial chemical fertilisers and can be used to support soil health and improve nutrient efficiency.  It has a low chloride content making it ideal for chloride sensitive crops while still providing essential nutrients.

About polyhalite

Because polyhalite is a natural mineral, it can be used for organic farming while providing a range of benefits over other fertilisers such as enhanced soil structure, increased plant growth, improved yields, all while improving longer-term environmental sustainability and improving agricultural efficiency. Ongoing research is proving the effectiveness of polyhalite across a wide range of crops and geographic regions.

Worldwide trials

As part of this research, Anglo American is conducting field trials in 43 countries, spanning Europe, North America, Brazil & LATAM, China, India, APAC, Middle East & Africa.  The trials are comprehensive and cover over 90 crops.  Anglo American is using QuickTrials as the global field trial management platform for all the trials.

Global challenges

Hundreds of fertiliser trials are conducted each year and include both technical plot trials and on-farm commercial trials. CRO’s (Contract Research Organisations) and 3rd parties are often used to execute the trials independently. All collected data is uploaded to QuickTrials and available centrally for the Anglo American research teams.

Before adopting QuickTrials, Anglo American had to deal with hundreds of excel sheets and PC files (ARM format) each year from different teams.  The files often contained different formats, naming, units etc and considerable time was spent collating the data between different regions before it could be analysed.   The company wanted to save time and have a more reliable and consistent way of managing all the trial data.

“QuickTrials provides global consistency across all trials, which improves data quality and greatly reduces workload.”

Rachel Fields
Data & Insight Manager

Switching to

QuickTrials was chosen because it provides a single global trial management platform that fulfils all of Anglo American’s needs.  The QuickTrials platform provides a centralised repository for all trial data, automatically performs unit conversions where needed (e.g. acres/hectares, gallons/litres, bushes/kg, etc.), improves data quality through validation, structures the data in an ideal way for analysis, and is easy to use (low training requirement for new users).  The result is that Anglo American now has a globally consistent repository of trial data which opens up new possibilities for analysis, while also saving a lot of time and effort across different teams.

The transition to QuickTrials had a few initial challenges but the QuickTrials team was very responsive and adapted the user interface to Anglo American’s needs to streamline the company’s workflow.  As a result, QuickTrials helps accelerate Anglo American’s processes and users are extremely satisfied with the solution.

The QuickTrials platform is also integrated with an internal Anglo American database to further streamline workflows and create a single source of truth for trial data. PowerBI is used for additional analytics or reporting where needed.

“We now have an end-to-end process for adding data into our system and reporting data back out of it.”

Rachel Fields
Data & Insight Manager

Future of Trials

QuickTrials has significantly improved the trial management and analytics capabilities of Anglo American’s research teams.  Data is now centralised and structured in the QuickTrials data warehouse, enabling Anglo American researchers to analyse data across all trials and regions in a more effective way.

With QuickTrials the data is globally consistent, and the teams no longer spend time collating mismatching data from different sources. New users are quickly onboarded, and trials can be easily rolled out to additional sites or crops following the same templates and approach.  Anglo American’s research data continues to grow and is a valuable asset for the company’s agronomic innovation pipeline.

“The support from the QuickTrials team has been great!”

Rachel Fields
Data & Insight Manager

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