Data Assessment and Initial Strategy Implementation


Belchim Crop Protection USA, LLC (Belchim), an agrochemical/biological company wanted to explore the opportunity to move forward with a more datacentric approach to support an enhanced understanding of their customers, the market, and their opportunities for growth.

Belchim was interested in doing an initial investigation of their key data sources to identify business insights and recommendations related to leveraging data to inform future strategies.

Available data sources included multiple years of customer sales data, information on product sales, and contact data for retailers and growers, along with various sources of market data.


In order to evaluate the current state of Belchim’s data capabilities, SIGMA recommended a data assessment be conducted. This data assessment would not only provide Belchim with an understanding of their data but also allow the SIGMA team to lead Belchim stakeholders through a proof-of-concept project managed by SIGMA.

The initial step of the data assessment was to align Belchim’s customer sales and contact data. Once the data sources were aligned and reviewed for factors like data quality and percentage complete, SIGMA Data Scientists worked to determine key insights. Key insights and findings were visually presented to Belchim stakeholders with recommendations for next steps.


Through the data assessment SIGMA was able to provide two significant recommendations for next steps in the Belchim data journey.

Customer Attrition Strategies

Belchim’s available data helped SIGMA determine that although sales are increasing year over year, the number of unique customers is not increasing. This finding provides insight that although the Belchim team is excelling at growing sales for current customers, they need to focus on gaining new customers.

The SIGMA team made recommendations to adapt strategies to combat attrition while leveraging current practices to improve customer retention.

Implement Data Mart and Visual Dashboards

An analysis of Belchim’s data sources helped to determine the need for Belchim to work towards implementing a centralized data mart. The data mart would allow Belchim to combine disparate data sources for the specific purpose of driving learnings to enhance Belchim sales efforts.

The data mart would also invite Belchim to begin collecting additional data for deeper insights. As a result, the data mart would also serve to feed visual dashboards, developed by the SIGMA team to disseminate findings to the Belchim sales team to begin leveraging retail data to connect sales representatives at a tactical level.

Initial Implementation

Following the data assessment, Belchim has begun to implement some of SIGMA’s recommendations like a cohesive data mart and visual dashboards. Tom Wood, General Manager at Belchim Crop Protection USA, LLC  stated that

SIGMA’s ability to accumulate large amounts of data from a variety of sources and put it in a workable design (dynamic dashboards, models, etc.) is impressive. Putting market data into a dynamic database with pull-down options makes our Market Opportunity Assessments easier as well addressing adhoc questions on the markets we compete in easier. Overall, I think we are on the right path with SIGMA, but I think the best is yet to come.”

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Belchim Crop Protection USA (“Belchim USA”) is an agrochemical/biological company focused on crop protection and pest mitigation, which leverages the strong innovation and R&D culture of its European parent. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, Belchim USA is one of the only and largest independent crop protection companies, deeply driven toward continuous innovation and commercialization around new products, bringing both conventional and biological products to the Agriculture and Turf & Ornamental industries in the United States.

Data Assessment For Strategic Insights


An agricultural crop protection manufacturer was looking to determine how their internal data sources could help inform strategic business decisions for the upcoming crop year. The company had been collecting customer and product sales data consistently for a few years but an assessment of the quality and completeness of the data had never been reviewed.

In order to be successful, the company would need to overcome a series of challenges.


In order to address these challenges in the requested timeline and gain insights quickly, SIGMA recommended an initial data assessment. The objective of the data assessment was to align the company’s key internal data sources to identify insights that the CEO could present at the upcoming board meeting and provide recommendations to leverage those insights to inform future strategies.

Initially, SIGMA Data Scientists reviewed the internal data sources for quality, completeness, and cleanliness. The team worked to align the disparate data sources based on commonalities and unique identifiers to gain initial insights.

Following the initial data work, the team conducted a virtual workshop with company stakeholders. The purpose of a workshop is to allow SIGMA team members the opportunity to share initial findings and for company stakeholders to lend knowledge to outstanding questions. This also allows for a discussion to determine if additional data is available to assist with filling in any gaps.


The data assessment provided the company with a realistic view of the current state of their data along with data-driven insights. Insights shared at the annual board meeting focused on:

Additional insights gleaned from the data assessment showed areas that required a plan of action to address potential issues related to lack of data and customer attrition.

The data assessment showed:

Lack of data: Although the company had been collecting sales data for 2-3 years, the data was not consistent and was only being collected from a small number of distributors. The SIGMA team completed an analysis on the data provided but the data available was not representative of the overall business.

Based on this finding, SIGMA provided a strategy for acquiring additional data that could be incorporated into the current data set for a more complete view. These recommendations included outreach to distributors to collect monthly sales data and investment in external market and competitive data sources.

Customer Attrition: From the data that was available, the SIGMA team was able to determine that at the end of Q2 of the current year, 30% of customers that had made a purchase the previous year, had not yet made a purchase in the current year. An analysis of customer sales data showed that over 50% of those customers that had not made a purchase in the current year were associated with the same distributor. In addition, 30% of those non-repeat customers had previously purchased the same product.

These insights prompted SIGMA to work with company stakeholders to develop a plan for a more in-depth customer performance analysis. Additional analysis would help the team to:

  • Understand the reasons for attribution and help inform engagement moving forward
  • Determine commonalities among those customers who did not have repeat purchases to understand potential attrition drivers (location, product/technology, purchase timeframe, distributor)
  • Communicate findings to sales teams with a plan for outreach to distributors to collect information (calling campaign, email campaign, onsite visits)

The initial data assessment conducted by SIGMA, provided the company with a clear path forward in terms of current state, recommendations for data collection, and produced valuable customer insights that required additional analysis to potentially win-back sales for the current year.

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Starting Your Data Journey

Business Challenge

The decision to begin investigating and using your company’s data to gain insights is one that can lead to immense ongoing benefits, but beginning a data journey can be a significant undertaking. For most organizations at the beginning of this journey, data is scattered throughout your organization in different formats, within different systems, being managed by different departments. The overwhelming question in most cases is “Where do we even start?”

Many data and analytics firms will push you toward building a data mart to house all your data, and although that may be the best solution down the line, the price tag that accompanies a truly well-structured data mart isn’t going to help your ROI this year. Maybe you’re thinking progress is progress but will you feel that way when you’re convincing your stakeholders and leadership team to approve additional budget for your data journey next year? What will you say when they ask to see the progress that has been made and you have very little to immediately show for it?

SIGMA Approach

In order to get to ROI and insights quickly, SIGMA always recommends an initial data assessment. The objective of the data assessment is to explore your organization’s key data sources to identify business insights and recommendations related to leveraging data to inform future strategies.

An initial data assessment allows SIGMA to analyze the quantity, completeness, consistency, and cleanliness of data sources while also producing actionable insights related to customers, product/service activity, and a thorough analysis of your organization’s contact data.

Data-Driven Results

Once an initial data assessment is complete, the SIGMA team will work with your organization to:

  • Define key metrics/KPIs
  • Provide a recommended approach to data standardization
  • Advise on additional analyses that could lead to deeper insights
  • Recommend supplemental data sources to add to your data set

The data assessment approach to starting your data journey provides your organization with a realistic view of the current state of your data and a tailored approach for moving forward.

Immediate insights provide your team with the ability to strategize and leverage findings to convince stakeholders of the value that a data journey can offer.

In addition, unlike the prospect of taking on a data mart build which can take months with costs ranging from $50,000-$500,000, a data assessment with SIGMA can typically be completed within 60 business days with a budget of $5,000-$15,000.

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Client Success Case Study: Highly Targeted Prospects for New Product Marketing

Highly Targeted Prospects for New Product Marketing

The SIGMA team helped our agricultural sciences client to identify a highly targeted prospect list for new product marketing based on real client data. The result was an estimated 40% return on investment.


An agricultural sciences company focused on crop protection and precision technology, required a strategic approach to marketing its new product to its distribution channel. The product, which would introduce new technology to the market, would only be available to certain market regions, based on location and crop acres.

In addition to the introduction of new technology and specific regional constraints, there were inventory limitations that required the company to be selective in its plan for distribution.


In order to target qualified prospects and effectively allocate marketing dollars, the company worked with SIGMA Data Insights to implement a data-driven approach to target selection.

Based on a longstanding client relationship, SIGMA’s Data Analysts and Client Service team members aligned efforts with company Product Managers to determine selection criteria to produce a highly targeted list of prospects that could be reviewed and marketed to. The selection criteria focused on:


While in the past, the company had stretched internal capacity and marketing dollars to market new products and technology to lists that included over 7,200 prospects, using this strategic, highly targeted approach, SIGMA was able to narrow down the list to approximately 100 qualified prospects.

The targeted prospect list included accompanying customer data that answered the following questions:

This approach provided the company with a manageable list of prospects that could be evaluated and marketed to based on real data.

The result was increased visibility into prospect behavior, more effective allocation of marketing dollars, and a plan to “drive direction,” as stated by a company Product Manager.

The highly targeted prospect list paired with additional marketing efforts, assisted in increasing overall product revenue by $250,000+ over a 2 year period as well as a 40% return on investment.

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Commodity Classic Recap

Earlier this month, SIGMA team members Gregg Sullivan, COO and Mallory Tabolt, Senior Account Manager traveled to Orlando, FL for Commodity Classic 2019. Commodity Classic is the largest farm-focused trade show in the U.S. and hosts thousands of visitors seeking new technology, equipment and the opportunity to meet with vendors and partners.

Over the three days that our team members attended the show they were able to attend learning sessions at the Commodity Classic Main Stage, meet with clients and partners, attend the American Soybean Association (ASA) Awards Banquet and check out the new innovations that the Ag Industry has in store for the upcoming year.

After sitting at the ASA Awards Banquet on Friday night, Gregg said, “I feel honored to be a part of such a strong community. From presenters, to honorees, to the work that brought us all together, it is clear this is a group of people across hundreds of businesses who all agree that the most important thing to their success is to value and support each other, innovation, and high quality work.”

5 Takeaways from Commodity Classic:

1. Attendees travel from all over the U.S.

Commodity Classic attracts visitors from all over the U.S. including those from SIGMA’s own Rochester, NY. One local Western NY attendee was a panelist during our favorite learning session of the week, “Plugging into the Power of Your Regional Cover Crop Council.” Donn Branton, a farmer from Le Roy, NY and board member on the Northeast Cover Crop Council shared his experience with cover crops and their benefits, giving examples of techniques he has used to help promote soil health and increased yield.

2. It’s a great place for one-on-one conversations with partners

Our client, FMC hosted an after the show happy hour for attendees and partners to promote their new product Lucento™ fungicide. The SIGMA team spent this time meeting with clients and finding out how we can more effectively work together in 2019 to provide valuable data and insights for use in marketing and overall decision-making.

3. It’s not just about the technology and equipment

The educational session that seemed to attract the largest group of attendees wasn’t about technology, innovation or equipment, it was about farming as a family business. Consultant and Farmer Jolene Brown gave a humorous and informative presentation on the valuable lessons she has learned from working with farming families and the difficult decisions that come with running a family business.

4. ASA Awards Banquet

FMC was one of the premier sponsors of the American Soybean Association Awards Banquet where soybean growers, volunteers and leaders throughout the country are recognized.

5. Orlando in the winter is amazing

When you’re used to winter in the Northeast, Orlando is a welcomed break at the end of February. When our team wasn’t at the show, they were able enjoy Orlando’s warm weather and some of the best key lime pie around.