The Silicone Angle blog recently covered some of the insights to be found in an SAS and International Institute for Analytics report called “Big Data in Big Companies.” The report is available as a free download on the SAS website.
Each of the companies that the report covered spoke of using data to make smarter business decisions. Big data, when it’s functioning properly, creates real value for the companies who choose to make use of it.
One case study came from UPS. It’s a good study, one that comes with impressive numbers.
“UPS has more experience with Big Data than most, given that it first began tracking the movements of its vehicles and the packages it delivers back in the early 1980s. The firm reckons it tracks in the region of 16.3 million packages a day, whilst dealing with 39.5 million tracking requests from its customers each day. To date, the company has now accumulated over 16 petabytes of Big Data.
UPS’s ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation) initiative is said to be one of the largest operations research projects in the world. The majority of its data comes from telematics sensors installed in its vehicles, together with mapping data and other real-time reports of drop offs and pick-ups from drivers.
According to UPS, the ORION initiative has helped it to shave around 85 million miles off its daily routes during 2011, something that saved it more than 8.4 million gallons of fuel. The company estimates that this has led to $30 million in savings.
GE provided another great example. They use data to prevent mechanical failure.
“Bill Ruh, Vice President and Corporate Officer for GE’s Global Software Center…highlights GE’s industrial business as a prime target for big data, referencing the health of blades on the jet engines the company manufactures. “Our sensors collect signals on the health of blades on a gas turbine engine to show things like ‘stress cracks.’ The blade monitor can generate 500 gigabytes per day–and that’s only one sensor on the turbine. There are 12000 gas turbines in our fleet.” The value in integrating all the sensor data onto a big data platform can reveal patterns on when blades break, allowing GE to time its manufacturing and repair process before a break occurs.
The big companies all use data in ways that are as unique as their businesses are. However, they each have something in common, as well. Each company has set sensible targets for their business which allows them to create real, actionable results.
This kind of effectiveness starts with the proper training about data analytics. If you’re ready to put data to work for your business, start with TMA’s free webinar. Then, take a look at any of The Modeling Agency’s predictive analytics training courses to get more insight about what big data can do to help your business.