Fashion Brands to Nuclear Research, 10 companies making innovative use of Data Sciences – A Case Study
By Kamal Jacob
Do you find something common between Steam Engines, Age of Science and Digital Technology? These three are known as the first three industrial revolutions that transformed our modern society and fundamentally the world around us.
We are experiencing this for the fourth time as well. But this Fourth Industrial Revolution is powered by Edge Computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), Social Media, AI, Machine Learning, along with increasing computing power like Quantum Computing. Data is the driver and fuel of this new Industrial Revolution. Isn’t it? “Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine”, these words from Peter Sondergaard, former Senior VP, Gartner, and Chairman of the Board, 2021.AI also proves this.
Whenever business leaders need to take a better decision or to make a better marketing strategy, Data Science always helps them out. But, in this fourth industrial revolution, by using data science in more innovative ways, businesses are looking forward to becoming the market leaders.
Here are 10 companies which are making the most innovative use of Data Science:
1. ZARA: What do you think, apart from the designers, who design clothes at ZARA? It is the team of data scientists, analyzing and processing the data that is being captured from POS terminals, PDA devices, customer surveys, RFID tags on clothing, Instagram, social media, and probably many other sources also. At the Inditex Group which Zara belongs to, along with manufacturing, this valuable customer information is applied in all the departments including customer service center, design team, sales team, production team, etc.
Zara designers at work in Arteixo, Spain. Source: Inditex
This innovative use of data science enables this fast-fashion retailer,
a) to know their customer inside out, and when they get it wrong, they can adapt faster than their competitors.
b) to move a new product from sketches to the rack in a blindingly short time of two to three weeks.
Moreover, this data science business model helped Amancio Ortega, the founder of ZARA, to become the sixth richest man in the world.
Dope, isn't it?
2. IBM: What is the biggest dream of a tennis player? Of course, it is to win a Grand Slam tournament. What if I say big data is playing the role of a tennis coach and helping players to win matches? Yes, IBM makes it possible by using data science in an innovative way on the tennis court. They developed a real-time statistics and visualization platform, SlamTracker, which combines real-time data delivered from the tennis court with an approximation of 41 million data points collected in the past 8 years at various grand slam tournaments.
Image source: https://datafloq.com/read/the-australian-open/518
IBM SlamTracker uses predictive analysis technology, enabling fans and media to follow all statistics in real-time. By using real-time data analytics software and NLP, it also catches the sentiments of present viewers as well as followers on various social media platforms, for determining the popularity of a player.
These amazing capabilities of Data Science have arrived in tennis and will stay for-the-ages, for sure.
3. SmartMat: Data Science and Yoga? It seems someone has written the sentence wrong or at least these two words don’t deserve to be fit in a single sentence. That’s what I thought until I heard about SmartMat.
Image Source: https://www.mariefranceasia.com/health/healthy-practices/smartmat-worlds-first-intelligent-yoga-mat-48402.html
If you like to do yoga for staying healthy, nothing can be more useful than getting real-time feedback from your yoga mat. SmartMat makes it possible by using Data analytics. It is embedded with pressurized sensors for providing feedback on yoga students' balance and alignment for almost 62 yoga poses. What’s so interesting about SmartMat is that it learns and improves over time: the more you practice on it, the better the resulting feedback would be.
4. Ginger.io: How would you feel if, data science cares about your mental health, helps to reduce symptoms of anxiety & depression?
For instance, Ginger.io is using data science to provide emotional support for its users. For viewing how a user is feeling, they analyze data from the user’s mobile phone activity, which further helps the medical professional to better understand the mental health condition of their patients.
What an innovative use of Data Science!
5. Cornerstone: In respect to businesses, we usually talk about the use of data science in making business strategies, in taking improved decisions. But have we ever thought about the use of Data Science in hiring and retaining employees--the biggest asset as well as biggest expense for an organization?
Image source: https://www.business2community.com/human-resources/employee-engagement-metrics-matter-01887497
A company named Cornerstone has thought about this and now offering a unique solution in the form of Cornerstone Software tool to help organizations tackle this challenge. It helps assess and understand employees by analyzing and processing 0.5 billion data points, collected from employees working across 18 industries in 13 different countries. The data points are the measurements that provide information on everything from how long employee travel to work, to how often they speak to their boss.
It causes many positive changes in the organization using it. For example, by simply allowing more employees to take their breaks together, Bank of America reportedly decrease stress level by 19% and in result improved performance by 23%.
6. Tendril: We are living in a scenario where the primary concerns related to energy, are optimization and distribution. A big question, can we use data science to beat this challenge?
Image Source: https://greenwombat.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/tendril.png
Tendril, Home Energy software management company opted for a hybrid approach that combined both collaborative and content filtering at their end. By structuring and synthesize millions of data points, they provide consumer-based solutions to the energy suppliers.
7. CERN (The European Organization for Nuclear Research): In this industrial revolution, Data Science is bringing new possibilities and as a result, Science & Research is currently being transformed by them as well. The most suitable example for this is CERN with its Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. This CERN experiment, to unlock the secrets of our universe, generates a massive amount of data, approximately 30 petabytes. CERN is applying computing powers of Data Science to analyze this data at their 150 data centers across the world having around 73000 processors collectively. It’s not wrong to say; Data Science helps CERN understand the universe!
CERN Data Center
Image Source: https://cerncourier.com/viewpoint-facing-up-to-the-exabyte-era/
8. GE (General Electric): In 2012, with the announcement of investing $1 billion in their state-of-art analytics center in San Ramon, California, GE has come further and faster into the world of data science than most of its old-school tech competitors.
GE, in partnership with Accenture, developed Taleris Intelligent Operations technology, to improve fuel economy, maintenance cost, reduction in delays & cancellations and optimizing flight schedules. The driver of this successful technology is Data Science. A huge amount of data are recorded from each aircraft in real-time, analyzed and processed to recovering from disruption and returning to a regular schedule.
Image Source: https://www.ge.com/reports/post/119300678660/wind-in-the-cloud-how-the-digital-wind-farm-will-2/
On the other hand, GE’s renewable energy sector is also benefited by Data Science. Their 22,000 wind turbines are rigged with sensors which stream constant data to the cloud. Operators can use this data to remotely fine-tune the pitch, speed and directions of blades to capture as much of the energy from the wind as possible.
9. Qlik: In the relentless momentum of technology, we often lose sight of the greatest purpose of our work that is certain to do something for society by solving real-life problems. But the software company named Qlik is an exception. It made a name for itself as a company that offers crucial support to nonprofit agencies working for the social wellbeing, using Data Science.
For example, Qlik is known for partnering various nonprofit organizations to halt the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. Agencies use Qlik’s data visualization to see the treatments that were most effective for Ebola.
Image Source: http://time.com/3943047/liberia-ebola-virus-cases/
10. DrivenData: Last but not the least, DrivenData, a newer socially-focused competition platform, uses data science as well as the knowledge of data scientists to solve real-life problems. The solutions will be utilized by partnered non-profit organizations so that they can more effectively carry out their missions for solving difficult social problems.
Among various projects, Using Yelp reviews to flag restaurant health risks and Promoting digital financial services in Tanzania are the two that left a huge impact on society. You can visit here to check the competitions hosted by DrivenData.
That’s all for now, readers! Hope this blog post proves to be insightful for you! We would love to hear your thoughts too. Don’t hesitate to leave your comments in the section below. You can also check out our Data Science courses here.