DataGrowers builds embedded analytics platform for modern growers with Yellowfin BI



DataGrowers is a business intelligence (BI) and analytics platform that provides data sharing and reporting for the floriculture industry. Established in 2019, DataGrowers is a partnership between VisionBI and Dataresultz to build a BI solution specifically tailored for helping growers collect information on flower and plant cultivation, and making essential insights more accessible, actionable and understandable for line-of-business people in the sector.

DataGrowers is based on the Yellowfin BI suite, using its embedded BI capability to serve as the ultimate data analysis platform for growers to record, access and extract more value from their data for higher productivity and profitability. Data holds the potential to elevate growers’ businesses, and this is both the core messaging and objective of DataGrowers’ solution.

“When we first launched DataGrowers, users had to find the data and the value themselves – we didn’t have Yellowfin Present and Broadcast. Both have made a significant impact on BI engagement.”

Kees de Louw, Founder, DataGrowers


Rapid market shifts and large data volumes

Businesses in the floriculture industry have historically faced some challenges in leveraging their commercial data for business decisions due to data volume and shifts in the market.

As an example, Royal FloraHolland, a conglomerate of growers and buyers, previously created an information system with standard workarounds (every growers’ product has its own numbers and specifications). If a grower sells plants through their auction, it is guaranteed they are paid for what is sold. However, this, along with other existing data systems, involve a large volume of data from multiple ERPs that is hard for most people to access, understand, or gain value from.

The floriculture market has also shifted from being demand-driven, which meant growers could focus on growing as much product as possible to meet demand, to becoming buyer-focused, which has significantly increased growers’ need for BI solutions to analyze their data around customer behavior, purchasing trends, and sales performance in more depth.

“In just a few years, there’s been a big question mark for the sector: ‘How do we achieve these goals with the data?” said Kees de Louw, Managing Director at DataResultz and founder of DataGrowers, who quickly recognized the rise in customers wanting to use their data more prominently for areas such as demand forecasting, customer segmentation, and product pricing.



“With the rapid change of the floriculture market, these businesses understood they had a problem, but did not know what the solution looked like. This is why we made DataGrowers, to provide a specialized BI platform that leverages our 20 years worth of knowledge in the floriculture sector to help them get deep insights and know which questions to ask, easier.”

The DataGrowers platform used Yellowfin BI’s embedded dashboards and reports to serve its users, but certain customer behaviors were identified that called for further exploration of more advanced features within the Yellowfin suite. “Because users had to navigate the platform themselves to grab relevant reports, data was often underutilized,” explained Kees. “It became apparent that many of our users needed to have the right reports delivered to them at the right moment, such as when they have management meetings, to get the most out of their available analytics.”


Standardized and self-service embedded BI solution

DataGrowers assessed the floriculture market changes, the complexity of existing information solutions, and their own customers’ shifting BI requirements to further develop its BI product offering and address these challenges, basing their decisions on meeting several key requirements:

  • BI accessible from anywhere (browser-based)
  • Data governance and security to ensure data is not shared with other growers
  • Multi-tenancy for a central reporting solution
  • Out-of-the-box reporting and dashboards with capability to share easily
  • Self-service BI to enable growers to be able to create own reports


Yellowfin multi-tenancy, which allows multiple tenants within a single environment, was “one of the main attractions that brought us to Yellowfin, because it’s very difficult to do with other competitor BI tools”, said Gawie Herbst, Business Intelligence Specialist at VisionBI.

DataGrowers wanted standard reporting, and multi-tenancy meant growers could share reports with others with high-security guarantees (underlying data is still in separate databases) while being on the same server. Growers could also create individual reports themselves, thanks to Yellowfin’s easy-to-use drag and drop visual report builder for self-service BI.

“Our customers are not IT-focused, so that’s why our BI solution needs to be super easy, and Yellowfin makes that very simple,” said Gawie. “They can open a dashboard, and drill into more detail, while they can share and be more directly fed important information.”



Multi-tenancy and call-to-action reporting

The DataGrowers platform connects to each grower’s system to extract and store their data in a data warehouse using pre-built APIs. A new tenant is then created for each grower in Yellowfin and the newly added users can begin engaging with reports. “On the reporting side, Yellowfin really simplifies things, with no development required to connect to new growers – most of the work is in getting and making their data available,” said Gawie.

Using Yellowfin, DataGrowers can connect to a new grower, link the users and allow immediate access to their standard reports. For Gawie, this was invaluable: “Yellowfin’s multi-tenancy made our BI development easier and faster because we could develop once and share reports with all growers, even though they are still looking at their own data.”

To ensure more users would engage with the new BI overhaul, DataGrowers created call-to-action rules using Yellowfin Broadcast to send reports directly to users. “Another feature we really liked about Yellowfin was its call-to-action capabilities such as Broadcast, which allow us to email pre-filtered reports directly to users,” said Kees. “Whether they’re a sales person or manager, everyone can get the right report at the right moment, without repeating processes.”

“Broadcasting helps tell the grower what they need to do and where they need to take action, without being overwhelmed with information,” Gawie elaborated. “We can send reports straight to a user’s inbox so that they have a full picture of what is going on in their business.”

DataGrowers also leveraged Yellowfin’s data storytelling product, Present, to provide valuable context in narrative-led reports that are continuously updated. “In addition to dashboards, we used Present to tell a story to the grower on what’s happening in the business, slide-to-slide, for an overall picture of what’s going on,” said Gawie. “It’s all still very simple and accessible.”



Highly accessible analytics and automated reporting for everyone, anywhere

DataGrowers successfully implemented Yellowfin into its analytics platform and has recorded several benefits that addressed its previous challenges around data complexity and accessibility.

“When we first launched DataGrowers, users had to find the data and the value themselves – we didn’t have Yellowfin Present and Broadcast. Both have made a significant impact on BI engagement,” said Kees.

“With no client-side installations needed, the grower simply needs to log into our Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering via Web browser and all the data they need is readily available,” Gawie explained. “From here, the grower can use out-of-the-box dashboards with all sorts of drill-throughs that will give them almost everything they need, or engage in self-service BI custom reporting.”



“Having presentations with data updated every time it’s opened and emailed reports, all in a familiar UI, is a combination I really like – our customers are able to click numbers they’re interested in, and not feel like they have to learn complicated systems to get valuable answers,” said Kees.

“The DataGrowers platform ultimately makes it easier for the growers to understand their data and market better, and helps their decision-making process,” concludes Gawie.

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