Big data is big, like really big. It’s so big, in fact, that it often becomes too unwieldy for organizations to do anything useful with it. Oh, you have in-depth data on all of your customers and prospects; how your products and services are being used; and even on ways your target audience wishes they could use them? That’s great. So what are you doing with all of that information? Anything at all? Or are you just sitting on it?
Big data is not itself a solution to anything; it’s a tool for helping you to find better solutions to pain points and customer wants and needs. The term “big data” is thrown around to express the incredible growth and availability of structured and unstructured data. Having it is extremely important because it could potentially lead to more in-depth analyses than would be possible without it. Yes, you have to actually structure and analyze your data if you hope to come to any sort of informed and intelligent decisions as a result of it – your data isn’t going to go ahead and solve problems on its own, much as you might want it to.
You need to do something with your data, and Superb Internet is here to help you accomplish just that. Our cloud storage services are here to help you affordably get all of your data organized in a cloud instance that all your personnel can access from anywhere. We recommend cleaning up and classifying your data before putting it into the cloud. Yes, it’s a couple of extra steps, but doing so can pay off big time. Not only will you end up adding useful structure to your data and ultimately make it easier to get it working for you, but taking these steps can help you to save money too.
Putting Data to Work
Maybe you have such an extraordinary amount of unsorted data that you can’t even fathom it actually being useful. Maybe there’s so much of it that it seems like no matter what you do you’ll have far too much unstructured information that couldn’t possibly come together in any sort of cohesive and helpful way. That’s not the case, though. The reality is that large amounts of data can be useful to you – incredibly useful.
Not convinced? OK, let’s take a look at an actual example. Daimler Trucks North America LLC recently told Tech Target all about how it puts its data to work and develops solutions thanks to it. For Daimler, the whole thing started with those little dashboard lights.
If you’re like many Americans, you might have a check engine light that comes on in your car or truck every time you turn the key. If you’re even more like most Americans, you probably ignore it far longer than you should, assuming the problem either isn’t that serious or that it will just sort itself out on its own (not unlike how many companies seem to think their data will eventually magically turn into solutions all by itself).
Daimler, which manufactures commercial and freight trucks and buses, doesn’t want its customers ignoring their check engine lights any more than it wants to ignore its customers’ data. The company has been relying on sensor data in order to pull back the shroud of mystery associated with maintenance problems. All of the trucks it made the last couple of years were outfitted with sensors that were linked to Daimler’s Internet of Things. As a result of this strategy, fleet owners and their trucks are patched right into Daimler call centers and, when necessary, service stations.
“This is priceless when you look at the customer,” Tech Target reports Daimler CIO Dieter Haban said when addressing a crowd during a panel discussion at last month’s MIT Sloan CIO Symposium. “The next step would be predictive. So I can predict something happening before the yellow [check engine] light comes on.”
How Daimler Tackled Its Big Data
Like many organizations, Daimler has lots of data. Tons of data, even. In fact, there’s a strong likelihood that the firm has more data than your company does. Of course, they have a team of analysts that collect and analyze all of that data, and they were able to shorten the turnaround time between collection and analysis. Before it streamlined the process, Daimler could spend weeks or even months just getting a very limited data set together.
“Suddenly we have, let’s say, we threw all the information we had – all the trucks, all the cost information, all the material consummation, everything – and suddenly you have a big cube of dimensions and data,” Haban explained. “We could get information much faster – not in real-time, but in a very short time from like 20 minutes or an hour – that we couldn’t do before. Then, you can focus on asking questions, [like] ‘What does it mean, though?’ You can analyze that.”
As we’ve previously discussed right here on the Superb Blog, the Internet of Things is poised to change the cloud and the data industry as a whole. Haban believes that though big data and the Internet of Things are two wholly separate, well, things, the two are intertwined. As an example of this, he brought up how his company’s trucks are equipped with sensors that link back to Daimler.
“If you drive a truck, a fault occurs, and something’s blinking, and you say, ‘Oops, there’s something blinking — a yellow light,’ what are you going to do?
“What we do is we send the information to our call center. So, we send some information that happens before the error and after the error, and then we analyze this huge amount of data. You can imagine that if every truck is equipped with that information, there’s a lot of data coming into our call center. They analyze it and they know exactly where the truck is, who’s running it [and] who the customer is.”
This results in huge amounts of information being automatically sent back to Daimler. It’s all information that can be analyzed in order to deduce what the problem with any given truck is most likely to be. Armed with that knowledge, a call center representative can then reach out to the fleet owner who can in turn inform the driver that there is an issue and explain what it is. From there they can connect with a dealer in the area and schedule a service time.
“The truck drives onto the lot and automatically they know, ‘Oh that’s the guy,’ Haban said. “So, if you come to a dealer, they [traditionally] say, ‘Who are you, what do you want?’ In this case, we know who you are, we know your problem, and here’s the part and get you out in the short time frame. Very short time frame, because he wants to be on the road.”
According to Haban, this allows his firm to “connect all the dots.” The truck, call center, dealer truck driver, parts details and the warranty system are all brought together.
“It’s always the business together with IT. Sometimes the business has an idea, or sometimes we see something, but it’s always a partnership between the business and IT.”
Image Source: Data Art
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