The Decision Wizard project created an online platform based on a tested farm decision-making logic developed by Nicon Rural Services and Marcus Oldham College. The Decision Wizard platform improves the way farmers use historical knowledge, data, agronomic advice, as well as intuition, beliefs and values to make farming operations decisions.
The decision-making component of the tool comprises a set of nine real-life decision scenarios, applicable to Victorian farmers, to help guide users to develop their own decision matrices. The underpinning decision matrix framework is informed by proven decision sciences and enables users to create bespoke decision scenarios that suit their circumstances. The tool has been designed to allow users to share their matrices (if they choose) to facilitate future tracking and mapping of the decision-making processes of farmers.
The Decision Wizard allows farmers to make sound decisions by being able to digitally access the decision support framework backed by data and proven decision sciences. The tool provides users with preferred options based upon a series of user-specified questions and answers, plus the user's appetite for risk, helping improve complex decision-making by leveraging data to augment on-farm experience and knowledge.
The Decision Wizard project has culminated in the development of a flexible and simple web application that guides farmers to make informed decisions about their farm business operations based on their knowledge, appetite for risk and farming priorities. The Decision Wizard accommodates variations in decision-making needs, as individual farming situation can differ.
The Decision Wizard platform architecture was built using the Laravel framework and a simple, user interface designed for the web. The Decision Wizard is publicly accessible and includes a user administration system allowing users to save their decision matrices for future retrieval or to share with others. Guidance has been included at each step, including a video user guide accompanying the written material. The decision scenarios are searchable through an eLibrary at the start of the process.
This foundational Food Agility CRC project has the potential to support a wide range of programs including carbon farming decision-making, managing on-farm water resources and financial planning. As information on decision-making processes accumulates through the use of the tool, there will be scope to expand the functionality to allow input of farming data feeds (e.g. soil moisture data, or seasonal climate outlooks) to the decision-making process. Opportunities to include multiple decision-making scenarios will also be explored.