Are There Similarities Between Apple & John Deere Big Data Strategy?

In today’s era, any company can become a Big Data company. This article explores similarities between John Deere and Apple Big Data strategies. Few areas are:

Commitment to Revolutionize Lifestyles

John Deere’s strategy with ag-analytics focuses on manufacturing farm equipment that is essentially software with engines. Farm equipment is now more loaded than a standard car. John Deere’s vision is to leverage Big Data analytics and AI so one day farmers will be able to use a fleet of autonomous robotic tools from a command room assisted with a smaller workforce. They aim to manufacture equipment that will be touch-screen enabled, fully networked using real-time weather data, autonomous, and leverage AI-based spraying drones.

Apple’s vision is to automate mundane tasks allowing humans to focus on higher-level creative work. On the production side, Apple has made great strides in automating manufacturing that could be hazardous to humans, using robots for disassembly and recycling. For consumers, they have automated mundane tasks like switching off room lights with Siri commands, introduced photography with on-device image intelligence, and eliminated the need for multiple devices & gadgets like alarm clocks, pocket cameras, video recorders, music players, GPS devices, flashlights while supporting other companies like Lyft, Uber, YouTube, Instagram that rely on smartphones. Their vision is to someday use face-based sentiment analysis.

Product & Service Development for Scaling Internationally

Both Apple & John Deere use Big Data to seek an understanding of their customers.

With the vision to finesse farm operations, John Deere has equipped its farm equipment with sensors and aggregating data to help farmers worldwide to make informed decisions on using their equipment smartly and efficiently as well as making farming decisions based on their local field conditions like soil and weather. Farmers can share data with suppliers as well and enable just-in-time ordering of seeds and fertilizers, reducing downtime. These automated technologies and processes are a huge help and enable optimized production making farming operations less labor-intensive given the average age of farmers is 65. The sensors can be used for predictive maintenance and services like remote diagnostics to save farmers time and money.

Apple is leveraging Big Data to understand to introduce and launch apps, wearables, and personal computing technologies that make it easy for consumers to interact and use the product, uncovering new consumer needs. They pay attention to the minutest of design and user experience details leading to seamless interaction. This strategy has paid huge dividends. Per, 20 million Apple Watches were sold in the US alone in 2019 and 1Q 2020 sales were approximately 8 million. Apple Music has been a hit streaming service in the US competing with Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, and gaining market share. Apple is penetrating new markets with recently launched a limited-time offer of free music subscription for 5 years in markets like India, Canada, and Australia.

Sustainability strategy that leverages Big Data

John Deere is focused on occupational safety, product sustainability, using water responsibility, and increasing recycling. John Deere has adopted smart precision agriculture that offers several benefits like apt use of pesticides & fertilizers, reducing waste during harvesting, improving production, etc. It also offers low hour used equipment for sale. Apple is focused on reducing carbon footprint via process engineering, supply chain optimization, renewable energy use, and recycling. Apple has recently launched an iPhone trade-in program with increasing pressure from environmentalists on the impacts of upgrading iPhones every few years. Both support equipment trade-in and used equipment protection plans.


  3. Farm to data table: Join John Deere and data in precision agriculture
  5. John Deere 2020 annual report. (2020).

Exec Director StratEx - I bring to the table blend of data science, finance and strategy management skills with 20+ years of experience in insurance & fintech.