Olive Crazy: All About Olives and Olive Oil
Jun 242011

A few days ago the International Olive Council issued an invitation to tender for market research on consumption of olive oil and table olives in Australia, Japan, and South Korea. The deadline is July 21st. The invitation made me think of the power of data collection.

I was visiting one of my brothers, Peter, in Oklahoma City last week. Peter is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association there in OKC. We were discussing how one becomes an expert in any area. Peter told me about an interview he had with a local reporter who questioned whether he was an auto industry expert, as he claimed, and Peter responded that he was the one that collected the data. His expertise was accepted and the interview moved on.

I asked Pete why he didn’t mention his 20 years in the business and he said that he felt that data collection quantified, not just the data, but his expertise. I think that is one response, but data collection is clearly an important distinction when folks in the olive industry make any business decisions. Data collection not only reveals expertise it can create success for members of the olive industry.

Without good and complete data how does a grower know which variety may succeed in his or her soil and climate? Without good and complete data how does the grower know which picking equipment will best harvest his or her trees? Without good data how does the miller know which equipment will best serve his or her needs? And on and on.

The International Olive Council (a United Nations organization) collects data and so do various governments and private organizations. The key to data is to use it to achieve the best outcomes for the olive industry whether or not you wish to claim expertise. The data is out there, go get it, and use it well.

May the sun shine through your branches.


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