Data is the new oil – processing it into actionable intelligence is the only way of leveraging its potentials to the fullest. On this note, CIOs are courting predictive analytics tools, curating machine learning algorithms and battle-testing cutting-edge solutions to amp up business efficiencies and devise better ways to fulfill customer needs.
For robust technological growth, CIOs are investing more than ever on newer tools and systems that supports data science. Going by the research statistics of IDC, worldwide revenues in the field of big data and data analytics are expected to soar high above $150.8 billion in 2017, an increase of 12.4%over 2016. Also, commercial purchases of software, hardware and services in pursuit of boosting big data and business analytics are expected to cross $210 billion.
In spite of such glorious predictions, darker clouds loom ahead. Majority of data analytics projects fails to yield desired results, owing to poor data quality and inability on the part of analytics professionals to manipulate data for crucial insights.
However, there is no dearth of awe-inspiring success stories of several IT Leaders who made it really big in the data-centric world. Their efforts didn’t go in vain – in the following section, some CIOs have shared the lessons they have learned and offered some advice for their peers, who may undertake similar projects in the future.
Merck, a $40 billion global healthcare giant influencing over 140 markets worldwide decided to make use of data gathered in ERP and core systems for better manufacturing and inventory control, while gaining significant business acumen.
“We were not viewing data as a viable, permanent and valuable asset,” said Michelle A’lessandro, CIO of manufacturing IT at Merck. “We wanted to establish a culture where we spent far less time moving and reporting the data and far more time using the data for meaningful business outcomes.”
To this end, Merck developed MANTIS (Manufacturing and Analytics Intelligence) – it’s an advanced data warehousing system, which includes in-memory databases and open source tools to process data stored in unstructured and structured systems. It has helped in reducing the time and cost of the company’s long-term portfolio of IT analytics project by 45%.
The renowned builder of Hoover Dam, English Channel Tunnel and some other majestic marvels, Bechtel decided to unravel insights from data buried deep inside company records – CIO of Bechtel, Carol Zierhoffer built a big data center of excellence, in which rests a grand data lake, including 5 petabytes of data. It uses photo recognition technology and natural language processing (NLP) tools to parse through data on behalf of customers, thus saving $2million.
Since the launch of Amazon Impact, the freight industry is raging under fire – said Scott Sullivan, CIO of Pitt Ohio, a $700 million freight company that stood by excellence by delivering goods to the customers the next day. Amazon has made possible same-day delivery; hence customers have started expecting a lot more.
“Customers now want to know not only when it will be picked up, but how it will be delivered so they can plan their workload,” Sullivan said.
By implementing predictive analytics, historical data and algorithms that determines driving distance, freight weight and several other factors in real time, Pitt Ohio can now calculate the accurate timing when the driver will arrive at the delivery destination. By doing this, the company has increased its earnings through repeated orders and better customer loyalty.
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