New cannabis software solutions present exciting opportunities for the entire cannabis industry through data sharing and analytics. Unfortunately, many of the bigger players in the field — namely, multi-state operators (MSOs) — are holding everyone else back.
Access to information benefits everyone, but MSOs don’t seem to see it that way. Instead, they keep their data locked in silos where only they can see and analyze it. This prevents professionals across the value chain from improving their operations for the good of all.
Read on to learn how MSOs are missing the mark when it comes to data and cannabis software — and what needs to change in the industry at large.
The Problem With MSOs
MSOs tend to be very guarded with their data, without realizing the potential that data has to benefit the entire industry. New cannabis software can share data across even cannabusinesses that aren’t vertically integrated, enabling collaboration and mutual improvement across the board.
For example, an MSO that owns six retail licenses in a given market has a decent understanding of how the end consumer is influencing the market’s structure. If that information is shared with the brands, they can work to reduce their own waste and better serve retailers, who can then better serve their own end customers.
Unfortunately, that isn’t what usually happens. Instead, these MSOs have tunnel vision that’s zeroed in on dominating their own market at the expense of everyone else. They prioritize big, flashy ideas to generate revenue over fine tuning operations that already exist.
Because these MSOs are more focused on appealing to investors than on longevity and best practices, they may be making quick dollars here and there, but in the long run, they’re leaving money on the table.
The Power of Data Sharing
As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. To solve this problem, industry-wide cannabusiness operators need to work together and use their own cannabis software and solutions to share and analyze big-picture data that goes beyond the aggregate level.
Take Amazon, for example, which had to build its own internal tools to process the sheer amount of information generated by the public’s interaction with the website. When the company realized others could use those tools, as well, Amazon Web Services was born.
That’s exactly what Higher Yields is building with its cannabis software solutions and data tools suite. Instead of keeping important information contained within each business’s silo, actionable data should flow across the supply chain to inform every area of the industry.
If and when this goal can be accomplished — that is, cannabis software for data sharing and analytics becomes mainstream, establishing a network of growing businesses that are effectively sharing and leveraging data — the industry will see improvement in the form of:
- Higher-quality products available to all
- A more educated end consumer
- Decreased stigma and inequalities
- Increased economic opportunity
Sharing information helps both reduce waste and create better quality, impacting every participant up and down the value chain, whether they’re directly or indirectly involved.
Start Small With Existing Cannabis Software & Data
For those just getting started, data analytics may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Start with small, deliberate changes to how you interpret and use the data your existing cannabis software is already capturing. No need to jump straight into complex machine learning algorithms.
The Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 Rule) is very relevant here: 80% of your problems are likely coming from 20% of your process. Make small changes to that 20% and you’ll solve a lot of your headache. As you get comfortable with those processes, you can ease into analyzing and acting on more complex models.
Ultimately, the goal is to create a culture of data-driven decision making in which everyone is responsible for holding everyone else accountable to the insight that’s derived from the shared data.
To get there, MSOs will need to change their mindsets toward information availability. Instead of keeping their data locked up in their own silos, they’ll need to understand and accept that accessible information benefits everyone — themselves included.
Can the Giants Learn to Share?
When everyone has access to information, everyone wins. When some industry players — especially big ones like MSOs — keep their information stores locked away, we all lose out on valuable data and opportunities.
But through collaboration and effective use of cannabis software for data sharing and analytics, we can all work together to create a culture of data-driven decision making that promotes improvement throughout the whole industry. Ready to start building a solid network? Connect with us on LinkedIn.