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When was the last time you touched your phone? A recent study has revealed how obsessed we are when it comes to our mobiles. On average, we touch them 2,617 times a day – with some people tapping, typing, swiping and clicking up to 5,427 times a day. Technology has accelerated at a fantastic pace, allowing us to do almost anything. And where there’s technology, there’s big data.

Many people will argue that collecting all this data is an invasion of privacy. But others, happy to criticise the paparazzi as they stake out restaurants, gyms and homes to snap pictures of celebrities in indiscreet situations, are okay with mobile phones and tablets quietly accumulating data on what we like, where we go and what kind of questions we might ask Google or Alexa. When used correctly, big data can be an extremely useful ally.

Big data and the COVID-19 pandemic

Fourteen months on and economies across the globe are still struggling to re-open with the COVID-19 pandemic staying like an unwanted guest (recalling a time when you could actually have guests). Every industry has suffered, but the food and beverage sector has been one of the most affected.

While food consumption at home has risen sharply, countries hit hard by the pandemic have witnessed daily closures of shops and restaurants, while several food processing and manufacturing factories have also been required to close temporarily due to COVID-19 outbreaks.

The widespread roll-out of several vaccines has given the world hope. But while vaccines might prevent serious illness and eventually give us the upper hand, lockdowns and closures have meant that a new threat has thrived in such abnormal confinement – pests.

Even before COVID-19, there were many macro trends impacting pest risks, such as the following.

  • Growing population – a larger population means greater food consumption as increasing disposable income drives demand for manufactured food products
  • Climate change – rising temperatures has led to later winters while spring has started earlier, so while the growing season becomes longer, so does the breeding season for many pests
  • Emerging markets – growth in trade and complexity of supply chains means more food is being transported, resulting in increased pest migration
  • Rise of the middle class – with 160 million more people joining the middle class every year, there’s an increase in standards and lower tolerance of pests
  • Customer expectations – technology has changed the way we think, feel and behave, with a greater demand for higher-quality products and services and an increasing demand for food businesses to source products sustainably

Pests have evolved over the years and are able to adapt and survive in a variety of locations, but if businesses can identify and reduce the risk of infestations, they can stay one step ahead.

Global data delivers unrivalled pest control

The food industry can generate huge volumes of data collected via connected devices and thousands of worldwide manual inspections. Using this data can help to predict where pests will be before they appear. Rentokil’s unique approach is data-driven and technician-led. This creates actionable insights and forward-looking facts to predict future infestations.

‘By going digital, businesses can use data to see where the pest hotspots are on a site. This allows pin-point accuracy for locating sources of potential infestations and will help them to mitigate any risks to their business,’ explains Paul Donegan, Rentokil Initial’s Group Digital Innovation Director.

‘Big data analytics can be used to build a picture of patterns and emerging trends. Using this knowledge can help businesses forecast and better prepare for the future, with minimum contact or disruption to business operations. It’s a combination of IoT, big data and our expertise at a local and global scale that make us the experts in digital pest control.’

Rentokil collects 9 million new data points every day from over 172,000 connected devices across 80 countries, providing users with an unparalleled level of insight and control at their fingertips to help them work smarter, faster and, ultimately, safely.

How global data can help a food business

  • Information collected from connected devices on a central hub provides powerful insights, such as real-time activity charts, interactive maps and analytical tools.
  • Businesses can spot trends, such as where pest activity is highest, likely entry points and the most active times of day or night, so proactive pest control decisions are easier to make.
  • Wireless connectivity ensures pest activity is sent immediately to the business while its pest control provider is alerted at once and can quickly deal with the issue.
  • Data will show not only where to best position traps, but also help service technicians determine how or why pests access those areas.
  • A business can show, in real time, what measures are in place and what incidents have been recorded over a given period, demonstrating transparency of information for audits and compliance.

To generate all of this data, Rentokil uses its innovative PestConnect solution – an ecosystem of connected traps that detect, capture or eliminate pests and alerts their expert technicians when any activity has occurred.

All this data is then stored in myRentokil, a digital pest management reporting system that protects over 1.1 million customers and has over 190,000 users. It provides trend reporting, recommendations, interactive maps, charts and analytic tools that help support pest control measures and audits.

Rentokil’s Digital Ecosystem Experience: discover for yourself

Rentokil’s Digital Ecosystem Experience allows you to explore an interactive, virtual environment, showcasing the power of global data to keep your business one step ahead of pests. During this unique experience, you’ll be able to:

  • Gain exclusive access to Rentokil’s pioneering global digital ecosystem with the latest analytics platform
  • Discover how this is creating value-added data and insight to better manage pest risk for food businesses across the world
  • Understand how this can help you to solve pest threats with new levels of efficiency and control

Part of the experience will include Rentokil Initial’s Digital Innovation Director, Paul Donegan, explain how unrivalled global data and analytical capability can provide unique insights to solve pest threats with new levels of efficiency and control. Unlock the power of big data today.

Find out more about the Digital Ecosystem Experience

This blog was written and contributed by:

Rentokil Initial

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