About the Client
The client provides market intelligence to grain buyers and sellers, helping them take better business decisions. The client collects and analyzes approx. 50,000 bids from 4,200+ markets related to seventeen commodities, on a daily basis.
In an effort to deliver accurate and relevant intelligence, the client’s data is subjected to daily and rigorous quality checks, including bounds checks, two levels of basis change verifications and a final in-depth spatial comparison.
The client also possesses a historical database of around 100 million grain bid data points dating back to 1998.
The client’s existing application was a web interface providing data such as storage cost, grain prices, grain trading price, etc. to registered users (grain buyers and sellers). The application also allowed users to view grain farm locations on a map. Clicking the pointer on the map allows the user to edit the name of the location and save it as a farm account for future reference. Similarly, users could create and store location accounts for grain processing and storing on the map. The application had a limitation wherein a user could create only one respective account at a time.
The client wanted to enhance the capabilities of its solution with new features, including:
- Cash bids - offered by grain buyers
- Barge rates - tariffs imposed by U.S. Inland Waterway System on bulk grain transportation
- Farm accounts - farm locations on a map
- Creating multiple farm accounts
From a usability perspective, the client wanted a few enhancements to the application, such as:
- A user friendly dashboard for customers to view and comprehend trends
- Customized charts to represent price changes
- Interactive maps
- Responsive application for mobile, tablet use
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The key functional enhancements developed included developing several features around visualization and reporting, such as:
- Interactive maps to compare elevator bids for a specific geographic region
- Interactive charts to see historical difference between local cash prices and future prices
- Price charts to view individual cash market price history
- Viewing and graphical representation of barge rates
Other features implemented included:
- Viewing of spot and forward contract prices up to 12 months out
- Creation of multiple farm, bin location and facility location accounts
- Identification of the best markets based on prices, locations, storage, and trucking costs
- Search result filtering based on net returns or distance from delivery location
UI Design Tools
SQL Server 2012
3rd Party Integration
HighCharts, Bing Maps
Better Customer Acceptance
Several relevant features were added to the application, creating differentiation with the competition and greater customer acceptance.