Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Digital deckhand helping to net data in real time

Australian-based Real Time Data is looking to take the paper out of paperwork for farmers with an electronic data collection system designed to capture key metrics on the go. After conquering the seas through their platform Deckhand, Real Time Data has joined AgriFutures growAG. to launch an opportunity that aims to prove out growth channels in the US and customise its’ offering for other ag sectors across the globe, starting down-under.  

From live weights at the stockyard to crop yields in the orchard, farmers are constantly surrounded by raw data that needs to be captured, collated and shared. 

But while smartphones may have become supercomputers, paper forms and clipboards continue to rule the roost when it comes to data collection in the field, creating endless written records that need to be transferred into online systems and reports. 
Australian-based tech company Real Time Data is helping to combat this double handling dilemma with an efficient electronic solution tailored to the way you work. 

Having already established a global presence in the fisheries industry, the company is now looking to cast its net wider by seeking investment to prove out growth channels in the US, and to customise its’ digital platform for additional agrifood sectors across the globe, starting with Australian farmers.

Interested in Real Time Data’s opportunity? Expressions of Interest close Wednesday, 31 January 2024. Visit growAG. here.

Reeling in the results

The company was founded in 2011 by a South Australian fisherman and a digital media expert, who developed a simple digital alternative to filling out written reports for fisheries regulators. 

Twelve years later it has evolved into a sophisticated workflow-based data collection platform known as Deckhand, which is designed to capture information in the field (or on the water!). 

Deployed within the commercial fishing industry, the company currently has more than 600 customers with multiple different fisheries in Australia, New Zealand, the US and Costa Rica, capturing everything from maintenance and logbook data to catch totals and locations as well as vessel trip reporting. 

The beauty of Deckhand lies in its workflow application development system known as Catchflow, which is used to customise the platform to meet the individual workflow requirements of each customer. 

Real Time Data’s Chief Operating Officer Doug Adamson said the potential for the platform is significant. 

“We believe this is the most flexible data collection platform that we've seen because it's workflow based and collects the data remotely and easily as the operator works, which can then be delivered to any endpoint that’s required,” he said. 

“The platform itself looks the same whether it's in Adelaide, Auckland or Alaska. But the actual way the interface works differs based on the workflow requirements of the fishermen using it. We've deployed seven different applications in the last seven months and can rapidly build workflow specific applications in multiple countries. 

“Better data collection means better interpretation, better potential for analysis and better business improvements. So it's not just about efficiency, it's about productivity as well.” 

Casting the net wider

Now operating with 15 staff in Australia and the US, the company has been funded to date by angel investors and multiple commercialisation grants. 

Real Time Data is currently seeking further investment to scale up its operations and explore future growth channels in the US, as well as expand its reach into other agrifood sectors by delivering early stage trials in a range of agricultural markets in Australia. 
Doug said their data collection platform could easily be reconfigured for use by agricultural trial partners and branded to reflect its’ use in that specific industry. 

“There are myriad opportunities in many different agricultural sectors to replace paper data collection with an electronic platform,” Doug said.  

Real Time Data is looking to commence early-stage trials in different agricultural markets in Australia, if you’re interested in exploring this opportunity in your industry, visit growAG. here.

“One example could be livestock saleyards, where the livestock need to be assessed before they go into any kind of auction platform or marketing system. The livestock assessors typically do that manually on a form, which they then upload into the market system. 

“But we could completely eliminate the paper in this process, with livestock assessors using our platform to record information about the livestock, which would then automatically go into their auction platform.  

“Another use case might be in really high value tree crops where it’s important to know yield, location, and timing for traceability purposes as the crop is harvested by field operators. 

“Agriculture is a much bigger market than commercial fishing and we would hope that in three to five years’ time, we'll have thousands of customers using the platform in multiple countries.” 

Looking for engagement?

Showcase your commercialisation opportunity today.

Talk to our team to discuss how growAG. can connect your innovation to industry.

Have questions? Find answers to our most frequently asked questions on research projects, commercial opportunities, organisations and more.