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ITECH7407 Real Time Analytics For Black Death

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ITECH7407 Real Time Analytics For Black Death

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Course Code: ITECH7407
University: Federation University

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Country: Australia


1. Write a description of the selected dataset and project, and its importance for the global leaders. Information must be appropriately referenced
2. For your project, perform the relevant data analysis tasks listed under basic and advanced work and identify the BI reporting solution and/or dashboards you need to develop for the operational manager of the indicated firm.

Background Information 
The human population across the world has been experiencing uninterrupted exponential growth in numbers for the past seven hundred years since the Black Death. By the eighteenth century, the population count had risen to 1 billion and that went on to increase to 2 billion by the nineteenth century. The population has increased by at least 1.8 percent rate of increase each year since 1955. The current population count is officially estimated to be 7.64 billion worldwide at the end of March 2018 (Population.un.org, 2018). Hence along with this rise in population, that is, increase in mouths to feed, the world experienced an increasing demand for food crops as well as feed to support the animal husbandry industry for animal based food and goods. This demand has been growing along with increase in the population.
This has sparked research and debate about possible solutions to tackle the tentative discrepancy in produced food and food required to meet the demand for feeding the world’s population. Researchers, educationalists, world leaders and farmers have been trying to approach the problem of balancing population growth with increased food demand in a sustainable manner via various avenues, such as changing the approach to agriculture to changing how food is consumed altogether. The ongoing crisis of climate change and global warming has also been found to compound on the problem of establishing sustainable agricultural practices that are enough to meet the requirements (Vandermeer et al., 2018). The demand for cereal crops and grains for the purpose of human consumption as well as for animal rearing purposes is stated to be around 2.1 was projected by the FAO to increase to around 3 billion in tonnes by the time 2050 rolls around from 2.1 billion in 2009. Consequently, it was reported that there is a need for increase up to 70 percent in overall volume of food produced worldwide to meet the demand for food of the projected 9.7 billion people in 2050 (fao.org, 2018). However, a recent study by the United States Department of Agriculture has also reported that the discrepancy in food production as compared to population is expected fall. The number of underfed people are projected to decrease to 446 million in 2028 from 782 million in 2018 (Thome, Meade, Daugherty & Christensen, 2018). Hence taking into cognizance the urgency of the issue and the utility real time monitoring of agricultural, animal and poultry produce along with the population, the study attempts to provide a demonstration of the use of real time data mining methods to provide quick insight to entrepreneurs and organizations invested in the food production industry, enabling them to increase efficiency in decision making and problem solving process.
This paper conducts a study on food production data worldwide as obtained from the FAO database, known as the Food Balance Sheets.  The database consists of key food supply statistics, providing information about the country’s pattern of agricultural produce and animal husbandry produce. The dataset considered has data for over 245 countries and territories of the world, for each year ranging from 1961 to 2013, by food items and mode of utilization, that is whether food or feed.  The mode of utilization “food” means that the amount of food that is quoted will be used for the purpose of feeding human beings. The mode of utilization “feed” refers to amount of the item that is to be used for feeding poultry and livestock.
The analytics software IBM Watson Analytics has been used to explore the current and historical data production trends worldwide and generate meaningful graphical and numerical summary depicting the findings and insights identified. The main focus of the analysis is on the comparison of the continental regions and major food producers in light of volume of food generated and the items of food generated in the year 2013. The study tracks the increase in overall food production since 1961 till 2013. Again it compared the production of feed and food of the major regions in 2013. The study also takes special cognizance of production of meat based products and the difference in production levels in 1961 and 2013.  The following section shows and describes the findings of the exploratory analysis of the data.
Reporting / Dashboards and Research
The top three food producing countries in the year 1961 was identified to be the United States of America, China followed by India. The maximum recorded volume of produce was quoted to be 559k, produced by the US. The data shows a change in the ordering of these countries on the ladder for food production in 2013, with China and India overtaking the US. China however is seen to be ahead of both India and US with food production reaching a record 3.2 M. India produced about 1.3M tonnes in 2013 whereas the US produced 939k, trailing behind both countries. 
The 10 countries who rank as the top 10 producers of food supplies, taking food and feed together for 1961 and 2013 are the USA, China, India, Germany, France, Poland, Brazil, Japan, the UK and Italy. Although significant increase in food produce is seen for all, China and India have been found to overtake the US as top producers in 2013. While the top four producers were the US followed by China, India and Germany in descending order in 1961, the rankings show China, India, US and Brazil as the top producers in 2013, showing a rapid growth in agriculture in these countries as compared to the rest. 
The trend of production volume of food for the aggregated areas over continental regions, showed that Asia had undergone a rapid increase in production volume with a high rate of increase. Europe on the other had showed a spike in 1992, after which it again stabilized to that level. The production in the Americas show a slowed but steady increase much lower than the rate in Asia. The rate in Africa was also seen to be much lower. Oceania showed the lowest in magnitude as well as in terms of rate of increase. 
The position in 2013 was then observed to have Asia region as the largest producer, trailed by the Americas, then Europe and finally Oceania region who produce the least volume. 
The following two diagrams shows the concentration of food produced around the world in 1961 and in 2013. The map clearly shows how the US fell from the position of top producer and how China overtook the race while trying to support its population. Interestingly the growth shown by China far exceeds that of India when looking at the two diagram, it can be seen that the change in China is far steeper than that of India.  
The top 10 items compared by volume produced in 1961 were identified to be Cereals excluding beer, Milk excluding butter, Starchy roots, vegetables, maize and products, vegetables, wheat and products, potatoes, rice and fruits excluding wine, in descending order or rank. The scenario in 2013, however showed that production of meat had caught up to become one of the 10 most produced food items, indicating an increased meat consumption among the people. The ranking of vegetables and related products also rose up to third and fourth position, showing an increased consumption of vegetables and fruits as well which also moved up the rank. The food consumption and preference therefore could be seen to have undergone subtle changes given that cereals and Milk products still ranked as the top two items produced. 
Comparing the top 5 items produced for each of the five regions, Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania, it is seen that Asia is the highest producer of Cereals in 2013 which is also the item category most produced in the region. This is followed by Vegetables and vegetable products and then Milk products. By contrast, Europe is seen to favor production of Milk more than Cereals. The situation in the Americas is however such that Cereals, are the largest item category produced followed by Milk and then Maize. The situation is similar in Africa and Oceania where cereal forms the single largest produced item. This reveals the deficiency of arable land or agricultural infrastructure in Africa given its large size. Also this reveals that Europe is primarily more of a producer of dairy products rather than crops. Moreover, the single largest producer of vegetables can clearly be seen to be Asia region. 
Now looking at the meat productions from the year 1961, it can be seen that the Americas standout as the single largest producer of Bovine meat whereas Europe ranks as the largest producer of pig meat followed by bovine meat. 
This picture however can be seen to undergo considerable change by 2013. It is seen that Asia has taken over the mean market. The Americas still continue to be the single largest producer of bovine meat, however there is a considerable rise in volume of pig’s meat produced with Asia being the single largest producer. Poultry meat is yet another meat item which is seen to have grown in supply in Asia region. Interestingly the poultry meat industry has taken over the bovine meat in the Americas and in Europe as well and noticeably grown in Africa. 
The top 3 producers of meat in Asia region in 2013 were then closely considered. The countries of China, India and Indonesia were in first, second and third place as producers of meat. Pigs’ meat was found to be primarily produced by China in the region. 
The following two diagrams show the numerical summary tables of the top 8 countries who produce the highest volume of meat items, labelled by the codes 2731, 2732, 2733, 2734 and 2735 respectively in the year 1961 and in the year 2013. The code 2731 means bovine meat, 2732 means mutton meat, 2733 means poultry meat and 2734 refers to  others. It is seen that as compared to 1961, the countries Brazil, Nigeria, Indonesia and the Russian federation have showed considerable development as producers of meat, having moved up to be among  the top 8. France, Poland and the UK seems to have ceased to be among the top 8. 
Finally, it was seen that the top producers who stand out per region  in terms of overall meat production are, China in Asia, the US is America, the Russian federation in Europe, Australia in Oceania and Nigeria in Africa in descending order of rank. 
Looking at the food and feed produced by the top 5 producing countries, that is, China, India, US, Brazil and the Russian Federation, it can be seen that Asia produces feed from milk products more than from Vegetable products. Comparing this to the food produced in Asia, vegetable produced as food is greater in volume than Milk. It can thus be said that Asia primarily produces vegetables for human consumption. Again, for Americas, it is seen that the region produces milk primarily for human consumption rather than for feed.  
The following bubble chart shows the variety in food items available over the 5 regions. A key item found unique to Africa region is Cassava. Fermented beverage are also found to be unique and significant in Africa region. Alcohol is found primarily in Europe followed by Europe. Asia is seen to offer a variety of items, eggs and fresh water fish being notable. 
Recommendations to the CEO
Increase production of meat based and vegetable products in the African Subcontinent
The region of Africa is a region of great potential with large animal diversity and biodiversity which supports dense vegetation. However it is seen from the data that the region has not been able to live up to its potential as the developing countries in its counterpart region Asia. The potential for fruits and vegetable as well as animal husbandry are deemed to be untapped opportunities for the region.
2: Invest in the diverse products offered by Africa and Asia
Asia is one of the largest producers of fresh water fish. It offers an array of different types of food items. Africa too shares this trait. Much of the items are local to the region and not found outside as can be seen from the bubble chart. It is felt that investing in increased production of such local items could benefit the world in exploring alternative diet.
Cover Letter
An increased population asks for greater production of food. The current population is expected to grow to 9.1 billion by 2050. It is imperative that more efficient and sustainable methods of food production are devised to meet the needs of hungry mouths.
Much research is being done by concerned organizations and individuals to solve the impending food crisis. Real time data monitoring offers quick access to crucial data to ease the strategy making process and developing contingency plans. Analyzing supply data from 1961 to 2013 using such a tool, it was seen that considerable change in pattern of food production has been observed. Meat and vegetables have grown as an industry with supply of these two categories being more than ever. Asia has emerged as a major player in all aspects however Africa is yet to catch up. The regions of Europe and Americas have shown a slow down or stabilization of their productions. Given the diversity in the items Asia and Africa have, it is also felt that investing in a global diversification of such items could open up newer alternatives to established food norms across the world.
It is expected that in the coming years, Asia and Africa will grow to be the largest contributors and hence more investment and supervision should be carried out in these regions.
Fao.org (2018). SOFI 2018 – The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World. Retrieved from https://www.fao.org/state-of-food-security-nutrition/en/
Population.un.org (2018). World Population Prospects – Population Division – United Nations. Retrieved from https://population.un.org/wpp/DataQuery/
Thome, K., Meade, B., Daugherty, K., & Christensen, C. (2018). International Food Security Assessment, 2018-2028 [Ebook]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. Retrieved from https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/89391/gfa-29_summary.pdf?v=43278
Vandermeer, J., Aga, A., Allgeier, J. E., Badgley, C., Baucom, R., Blesh, J.,.. & Wilson, M. L. (2018). Feeding Prometheus: An interdisciplinary approach for solving the global food crisis. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 2, 39. https://doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2018.00039
Wolff, S., Schrammeijer, E. A., Schulp, C. J., & Verburg, P. H. (2018). Meeting global land restoration and protection targets: What would the world look like in 2050?. Global Environmental Change, 52, 259-272. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.08.002

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