All Hail Big Data Successes: Examples in Action

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Big Data


We constantly hear about big data failures, but the flip side of the coin features a number of big data successes. Here come five of the most notable examples from InformationWeek, outlining ways companies are using the power of big data to improve various aspects of their businesses.

Provide quicker remedies

Bristol-Myers Squibb reduced the time it takes to run simulations of clinical trials by 98 percent by switching to the cloud. Now instead of taking 60 hours for scientists to run hundreds of jobs in a shared environment, each has his own dedicated space, allowing 2,000 jobs to be processed in 1.2 hours without impacting fellow researchers. Quicker trials results in quicker delivery of new remedies to the marketplace. 

Decrease employee turnovers

Xerox grabbed on to big data in its human resource department to reduce turnovers in its call centers by 20 percent. The company examined the reasons behind the high turnover while looking at ways to enhance employee engagement.

Optimize rainy day work

The Weather Company partnered with IBM in a bid to help companies better manage the impact of weather on their business performance. Millions of weather sensory points are collecting weather data, which is then combined with additional data to produce more than 10 billion forecasts companies can use to adjust staffing, alter supply chain strategies or otherwise base their moves around the weather.

Sell smarter

Kroger has produced a direct mail campaign that boasts a coupon return rate of more than 70 percent, which is significantly higher than the average return rate of 3.7 percent. The secret is big data, which the chain uses to customize its direct mailers from information supplied by customer shopping histories. Their loyalty cards play a huge role in the success, with more than 90 percent of its shoppers using the card when they purchase items.

Stop problems before they start

United Technologies Corp’s company Pratt & Whitney is implementing a way to decrease unplanned engine maintenance for its aircraft. Current engines gather roughly 100 parameters while a plane is in flight, while the new engine can gather more like 5,000. The result is proactive maintenance that decreases equipment failures and customer angst.

While these five examples are specific to certain companies, the same type of big data strategies can help business across a wide range of various industries. Big data has proven its worth for improving customer service, internal methods and the overall bottom line.

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