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Leveraging data for environmental initiatives
AgriTechNZ and Rezare Systems are working with the Ministry for Primary Industries on a project that aims to align the way we describe and identify data elements, so that farmers and their ecosystem can participate in a range of industry initiatives without reinventing the wheel for each initiative.
Why are we doing this?
You will be aware of the central and regional government and industry initiatives around farm systems, integrated farm planning, freshwater farm planning, and emissions reporting.
Each of these initiatives leverages data about farms and catchments, and each initiative rightfully has its own data requirements and data dictionary that align with regulatory or supply chain requirements.
AgriTech New Zealand, the Ministry for Primary Industries, and the Data Interoperability Working Group recognise that there are benefits in aligning the data definitions in these initiatives. Alignment will reduce the confusion that could otherwise about “similar but different” terms. Alignment will also allow farmers and their organisations and advisors to re-use data more effectively.
What are we doing?
This is not a huge project. Most initiatives and programmes already have existing glossaries or data dictionaries that could be aligned. Organisations also have their own data schemas and experts who know how data elements should be interpreted. The opportunity is to bring these together.
AgriTech New Zealand and MPI have retained Rezare Systems (who previously worked on the NZ Farm Data Standards) to engage with data stewards (service providers and software companies), and obtain existing glossaries or data dictionaries, to analyse where they can be aligned. The outcome will be an updated set of definitions, made available as open source, and planned to be integrated into other evolving initiatives such as Integrated Farm Planning and LINK Aotearoa (previously called LINK 2025).
The timeline looks like this:
- October 2022 – briefing workshops, engagement with the appropriate experts in your team
- November 2022 – analysis work to align the existing glossaries and produce a cohesive cross-initiative glossary
- December 2022 – publish the resulting data dictionary or glossary for feedback
Could you be involved?
We are looking for people with informed opinions on the definition and interpretation of data fields used to support environmental initiatives. These definitions include spatial, livestock, crop, water, or fertiliser activities.
We are particularly interested in talking to people in organisations with their own definitions, glossaries, or database schemas. If this could be you or someone in your organisation, please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org