REVIEWER:  Dr. Peter D. Goldsmith, associate professor of agribusiness management in the department of agricultural and consumer economics, University of Illinois.

BACKGROUND: Globalization, free trade and population explosion are among the many events that have affected the global agricultural system in the past 15 years. The fall of the communist block and the openings of new economies have transformed how the agricultural system operates, which has the potential to seriously impact the ability to feed a burgeoning world population. This complex and dynamic structure has experienced an unprecedented rate of structural change that has been the focus of pioneering research at the University of Illinois.

PLATFORMS: Dell E Series with an Intel P4-2.53GHz and 1.0GB RAM and XP Professional operating system.

PROBLEM SOLVED: The backdrop to this scene is unparalleled income growth and urbanization that will continue to affect the location of the production and consumption of food commodities. As the situation unfolds, major implications must be modeled and clearly communicated so that correct courses of action can be taken. Research models depict vast changes in the meat supply that occur in parallel to the global economy. During the 1960s and 1970s, most models were Western European- and North American-centric. Now, the rise of Asia and South America is receiving the attention. Eastern Europe, which has an enormous appetite for meat, is also developing. Researchers are not able to analyze these models without advanced reporting and analysis solutions. The University of Illinois selected ADVIZOR software, which is extremely important to researchers who create the models and communicate their findings to managers and other decision-makers, enabling them to make better fact-based decisions.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: While the researchers may identify trends that have major implications for whole populations of people, the potential benefits of their findings are lost if they are not able to communicate to a diverse, distributed audience. ADVIZOR enables our researchers to display and analyze complex data and publish their findings, which fosters collaboration across multiple continents.

STRENGTHS: Once we make a discovery, the software enables us to quickly publish findings on the Internet and collaborate with other researchers and decision-makers. In these dynamic and uncertain times, visualization software is critical to the overall decision-making process. It is important to get a handle on the situation, however abstract. The world is rapidly changing, and we are not able to effectively analyze and communicate these changes without the software, which enables people to experience the future through dynamic maps and visuals.

WEAKNESSES: We look forward to receiving ADVIZOR's integrated predictive analytics offering. This will enable us to develop predictive models and perform regression analysis.

SELECTION CRITERIA: We chose ADVIZOR because it is suited for businesspeople. It enables us to analyze data and publish findings via the Internet for others to consume, and it supports and enhances our existing technology infrastructure.

DELIVERABLES: The most powerful means to communicate these models and findings is to utilize Internet deployment, which is one reason that we adopted ADVIZOR advanced reporting and analysis software. These dashboards are then analyzed globally by researchers and others who need to quickly and clearly understand the complex issues involved. For example, American soybean producers need to understand what the demand for soybeans in China will be 25 years from now and, specifically, what supply-side competition may exist from Brazilian farmers. The actions they take may range from moving into new markets to forming strategic partnerships because most farming business models are extremely local. Discussions involve market segmentation, differentiation and cost structures, and plenty of new questions such as, "How can the U.S. be a preferred supplier to Asia?" This solution facilitates this process in an intuitive and visual manner.

VENDOR SUPPORT: ADVIZOR's service and support teams are there when we need them. They listen to their customers and provide great support, and we applaud their unique product direction.

DOCUMENTATION: The online documentation is easy to use and navigate.

ADVIZOR Solutions, Inc. 
1333 Butterfield Road, Suite 280
Downers Grove, IL 60515

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