‘Big data’ strikes again. A story this week highlights just how important big data is to an industry that has a major impact on the health and well-being of the planet: agriculture. This is a $3trn global industry whose job it is to feed the world.
Monsanto is a stock that I used to invest in during my days as a US equity fund manager. Back then, its most exciting product was Roundup, which the company touted as an environmentally-friendly weed killer.
In the intervening years, Monsanto has attracted controversy through its genetically modified seeds business. In both these cases, its aim is to help farmers improve crop yields and get the maximum out of their resources. So it was a bit of a shock to see them splash out $930m on a software company called Climate Corp.