Data Analytics: Company Use Cases

In the fifth and final instalment of our blog series about Data Science for IoT, we’re going to delve deep into specific Data Analytics use cases and look at how companies are using it to make smarter decisions.

Walmart, the world’s largest retailer and the largest company by revenue, is a great example of a company which has seen much success after implementing data analytic solutions. Since implementing their solutions in 2012, they’ve been making the most of their big data analysis to provide top notch e-commerce technologies with the aim of optimising their customers' shopping experience, whether they be in a Walmart store or browsing on their website. A prime example of this is their sales tactics when it comes to seasonal promotional products. When analysts see that promotional products aren’t selling in certain locations, they can trigger an alert to the merchandising teams responsible for those stores, who can make sure these products are in a prime location and being appropriately marketed. This example isn’t exactly a complex algorithm, but it’s only made possible with real-time analytics, meaning a problem that once took weeks to discover, can now be discovered in minutes. Walmart are currently in the process of building the world’s biggest private cloud, to process 2.5 petabytes of data every hour. Over 200 streams of internal and external data, including 40 petabytes of recent transactional data, can be modelled, manipulated and visualised.

Starbucks doesn't just make good coffee. It also knows its stuff when it comes to integrated marketing. The caffeine giant uses data analytics solutions to analyse the behaviour of their 6 million loyalty card holding customers. They collect data on their customers’ purchasing habits in order to send them personalised ads and offers straight to their mobile phones, as well as identifying trends which indicate if their customers are losing or gaining interest in their products and direct offers. Starbucks have reported that implementing their data analytic solutions is certainly paying off. For example, they found that users are likely to continue buying beverages with the goal of earning a free one and have profited greatly from offering free incentives or special bonuses, like birthday gifts, discounts and complimentary beverages.

Union Pacific, the largest North American railroad franchise which runs a total of 31,9000 route miles, uses big data analytics for predictive support and maintenance. Thanks to tools such as acoustic and visual sensors and thermometers, Union Pacific can detect imminent problems with railway tracks, therefore predicting potential derailments days before they are likely to occur. Their sensors have so far managed to reduce derailments by a whopping 75%. They also use real-time analytics to increase train shipments, help them stay on track and keep their customers happy. In-rail sensors, switches, brakes, bearings, power plants and RFID in terminals and GPS units on trains along with weather data is used to ensure the safety of their trains.

We may have reached the end of our Data Science for IoT series, but fear not - new content including a wide range of examples of company use cases will be on the way soon. Keep your eyes peeled on the Metiora blog, as well as our social networks, for news and updates!