Agronometrics to launch commercial service
After almost three months testing the waters with a trial run for potential clients around the world, Chilean start-up Agronometrics plans to go live today with its fruit market data service.
CEO Colin Fain told www.freshfruitportal.com a lot of lessons were learned from the beta program, emphasizing the new product was better suited to analyst needs and also included data sets from two new markets - Mexico and Brazil.
"Basically what we've learned during this period that we can help make analyzing data very easy for our clients; it's almost like replacing Excel," he said.
"For any basic analysis, any two variables that you want to compare from a data set, we're going to make it a couple of clicks away. Instead of downloading endless sheets of data from any one of the sources that we have in our system, you can choose the data set that you want, the time period that you want to see and download it to Excel."
He said the system had also been improved to fix some of the glitches witnessed in the beta version.
"I think the product that we’re bringing out is a lot more stable. The data is a lot cleaner," he said.
"We invested a lot of time into building algorithms that automatically clean the data so that any errors that jump out will be identified and pulled out.
"For example, the market reporter, instead of putting US$20 per kilo might put US$2,000. It's an obvious error but if you’re doing analysis that could be an outlier that affects the story you’re trying to tell with the data."
Apart from recent additions from Mexico and Brazil, the service includes historical data from five wholesale market sources: the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service which also includes seven non-U.S. countries, Chile’s Office of Agricultural Policy and Research (ODEPA), the Central Market of Buenos Aires in Argentina, the Wholesale Market Center of Antioquia in Colombia, and Mercamadrid in Spain.
He said the service would cost around US$60 per month, or US$50 per month for clients who commit to one year, while early birds will get 30% discounts.
Around 300 people signed up for the beta service of which a quarter were from Chile, which was expected to also be the leading market in the early stages of the company's development.
"The rest were from all over the place. We had a bunch from Mexico, Spain, a good number from the U.S., Peru, Argentina, and there were a significant number from Europe," he said.
"I think anybody that's got a start-up will tell you it’s harder than they thought it was going to be. It's really easy to fall in love with the idea of what you're building, particularly before you've built it.
"You see this grand vision of what you’re going to be and how it’s going to be, the benefits people are going to receive from it; that’s beautiful, it’s very motivating...we've learned a lot in the process process and I can say that the product we've built has been a great response to the feedback we’ve received."