Putting The Climate On Our Side With Analytics


IBM has taken a natural resource that is known for its erratic behavior and turned it into a reliable source of energy. IBM has teamed up with Vestas, the world’s largets wind energy company, and has made it possible to pinpoint the optimal locations for wind turbines to maximize energy production and reduce energy costs.

When dealing with wind energy determining the best place to place the wind turbines is key. If you put a wind turbine in an improper place it can be an expensive waste without much payout. However, a properly placed wind turbine can be a reliable and renewable energy source.

“Wind energy is one of today’s most important renewable energy sources,” says Lars Christian Christensen, vice president, Vestas Wind Systems A/S. “Fossil fuels will eventually run out. Wind is renewable, predictable, clean and commercially viable. By 2020 as much as 10
percent of the world’s electricity consumption will be satisfied by wind energy and we believe that wind power is an industry that will be on par with oil and gas.” Therefore, the partnering of IBM with Vestas just makes good sense. Analytics are used to determine turbines are placed in optimal locations for the most energy output possible. This ensures that the turbines are being used effectively.

People typically think it is not rocket science, just put a turbine in the windiest place possible. This is not the case though. The windiest location may not generate the best output and revenue for energy companies. Turbulence is a significant factor as it strains turbine components, making them more likely to fail. Avoiding pockets of turbulence can extend the service life of turbines and lower operating costs, which reduces the cost per kilowatt hour of energy produced. Analytics programs are able to predict turbulence and wind production and determine the best places for turbines with a good consistent wind flow with little turbulence.

Aside from determining good locations for wind turbines, analytics can also be used to help determine which type of turbine would do best in a variety of settings. Knowing which places to put turbines combined with the knowledge of the product to be used, companies like Vestas can see a greater return which is incredibly important for those companies and individuals investing in these wind energy projects. Wind energy may very well be a great energy source for the future with analytics on their side.

Fighting Crime with Analytics

Analytics is being used in a number of different industries; however, there may be none more important than the analytic work being performed by the Memphis Police Department. With the help of IBM software, the police department is using analytics to reduce and control crime in Memphis.

With traditional policing practices unable to thwart a rising rate of criminal activity and budgets tight, the Memphis PD pioneered a way to focus their patrol resources more intelligently. By recognizing crime trends as they are happening, MPD’s predictive enforcement tool gives precinct commanders the ability to change their tactics and redirect their patrol resources in a way that both thwarts crimes before they happen and catches more criminals in the act.

Director Larry Godwin realized that the MPD’s existing practices weren’t working to stem a steady rise in Memphis’s crime rate, he realized that there were no “silver bullet” solutions. His willingness to experiment and break cultural barriers opened the door to solving the problem. “You can have all the technology in the world, but if you don’t have the leadership and the guts to make some changes, you probably won’t succeed.”

It may be hard to believe but the analytics system deployed by the MPD is truly working. In fact the crime reduction statistics are remarkable.

  • 30% reduction in serious crime overalll
  • 36.8% reduction in crime in one targeted area
  • 15% reduction in violent crime
  • 4x increase in the share of cases solved in the MPD’s Felony Assault Unit (FAU), from 16 percent to nearly 70 percent
  • Overall improvement in the ability to allocate police resource in a budget-constrained fiscal environment.


As you can see, the results of the analytics data and predictive modeling are astonishing. Imagine if police departments nation or world-wide deployed these systems. The ability to analyze data does not have to end with marketing research, there truly is no end to the good that analytics could do for communities as a whole when put into the proper businesses and communities hands.

Future Proofing Your Business With Analytics

No matter what business industry you are in, you are always trying to model the future. Who wouldn’t want to future proof their business? This is exactly what organizations such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are providing to their customers.

Most companies do not have skilled, professional statisticians on their team. Many companies have a plethora of data, but no one to analyze it and turn it into a plan of action. This is where outside consulting companies such as TCS come into play.

According to Abid Ali Neemuchwala, a global head at TCS, “Decision makers do not rely on intuition and past knowledge alone. In order to not only understand trends but predict customer and market behavior in the future with certainty, analytics married with expertise and skills to help decision making is critical.” Intuition and using knowledge from the past are important, but a company can sometimes predict commonly unforeseen events by using analytics.

Analytic modeling can be used across the board in the business setting. From determining the number of new hires to increasing production efficiency, there really is no area of business that can not be analyzed from a statistical standpoint. This modeling is what can make or break an organization in the long run. With predictive modeling a company is able to see changes in the market before the trained human eye can. This allows the company to adjust to these changes and possibly reap the benefits from it.

In the future I think we will see more and more companies focusing on long-term big data monitoring and companies will focus on a proactive (instead of reactive) approach to business. They will be able to model by looking at certain trends when the best times are to ramp up production or scale back.

I believe having leaders in the analytics field whether they are in-house or outsourced, will become a necessity to remain competitive in the markets of the future. What ways do you utilize analytics to stay ahead of the game?

Analytics, Big Data & The Cloud Conference

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SAP’s New HANA Solutions

SAP is at it again with an entirely new platform for big data analysis. The SAP website caught my attention with this introduction to the new product:

Why wait for old-fashioned data analysis? Tap into huge volumes of detailed information as events unfold with the SAP HANA platform. This combination of powerful in-memory software and leading SAP partner hardware can help you query multiple types of data sources – at speeds and in volumes like never before.

Who wouldn’t love to be able to tap into huge volumes of data at lightning speed? The HANA platform allows you to make decisions based off of real time insights. With real-time data a company can react more quickly to changes and gain the upper edge among competitors. In fact, T-Mobile is using the HANA platform to mine data from stores, text messages and call centers on its 30 million customers in the USA to create personalized deals for their customers. These deep data queries used to take about a week;  now with the HANNA system it can be done in three hours. [Read more...]

SAS Turns Analytics Into Visualized Data For Ipads

If you need data analysis and you need it fast, SAS has you covered. There is a new app for the ipad that can take your data and visualize it in minutes. The SAS LASR Analytic Server is an amazing new addition to the analytics world.  It is the first system on the market specifically engineered to address advanced analytic use cases in diverse environments. It can handle the computational complexity of large-scale exploratory data analysis and visualization as well as predictive analytics and data mining on big data.

“We have taken a consumer approach,” said Randy Guard, vice president for product management at SAS. “It’s highly visual and very self-service for the user.” The iPad app for it is available through the iTunes store and an Android version is expected soon.” [Read more...]

Cloud Computing Meets Big Data

When analyzing large amounts of data like big data analytics companies do, you will need lots of storage space for that data. Some projects breech out horizontally infinitely and require petabytes of storage space. With cloud computing companies can spread that data along a number of different servers and still have complete access to the data for analysis. How wants to have a few petrabytes of storage space on their physical location? Not many people. Therefore, the partnership between big data and cloud computing should come as no surprise.

The issue that comes up most frequently when dealing with the cloud and data storage is how to keep it safe. If there is sensitive data being stored then you will have to use encryption.  However, generating and managing all the encryption keys for all the separate data files can be an issue. This is where data encryption automation can come into play. [Read more...]