Why you should digitize your observations

Why is it important to digitize observations in the greenhouse?

When a grower walks inside a row of plants in a greenhouse, their keen observations are guided by a deep understanding of plant growth and health. The grower's trained eye immediately assesses the overall vigour and vitality of the plants, examining their height, leaf colour, and uniformity. They observe the arrangement of foliage, ensuring proper spacing and growth patterns. The grower carefully inspects the leaves for any signs of discoloration, spotting, or wilting, which could indicate nutrient deficiencies, disease, or pest infestations. They examine the stems for strength and resilience, noting any signs of weakness or damage. The grower pays close attention to the development of flowers or fruit, gauging the progress and quality of the crop. They observe the presence of any beneficial insects or signs of pest activity, ready to take necessary action if required. Additionally, the grower assesses environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and ventilation to ensure optimal growing conditions. This continuous and meticulous observation allows the grower to make informed decisions, implement appropriate interventions, and ultimately maximize the health and productivity of the plants within the greenhouse environment.

The same observation can be subject to variations from person to person due to individual differences in perception, cognitive biases, and personal experiences. Each person brings a unique set of filters, beliefs, and biases that shape how they interpret and understand what they observe. One person may focus on specific details or aspects that align with their interests or preconceived notions, while another person may pay attention to different elements or have a contrasting perspective. Furthermore, factors such as fatigue can significantly impact a person's observation accuracy. As the day progresses and fatigue sets in, a person's ability to concentrate and notice finer details may diminish. Their cognitive faculties may become less sharp, leading to potential oversights or inaccuracies in their observations. Therefore, it is essential to recognize and account for these subjective factors and take them into consideration when evaluating the reliability and accuracy of observations made by different individuals.

Many important decisions are informed by individual observations and the consequence of variable observations can be significant. This is where digital observation and digitization become handy. It is not say that digital mediums are perfect and better than humans. No not at all. They do have their inherent errors but the error is consistent. Digital tools and sensors don't have to take bathroom breaks, they won't have a fight with their spouses which might affect their judgment and they don't have mortgages or car payments etc. They just do what they are supposed to do in a steady and consistent way.  The best way to use these tools is to combine them with human observations so you can get the best of both worlds. If the matter at hand is a tedious repetitive mind-numbing task, machines and digital solutions would be the best way to go. If the task requires high-cognitive performance, then nothing can beat the human brain. 

Digitizing your observation does not mean that you replace all humans with machines. It means that you bring a layer of technology into play that offers consistency and utilizes your human capital for more high cognitive tasks. 


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