Cool - and useful - data projects in the real world

Sometimes there's so much hype around analytics, big data and The Next Big Data Thing that it buries news about useful data projects offering real-world value. That's why I find the Computerworld Data+ Editors' Choice awards so interesting -- they're examples of data use in the wild that are actually helping real businesses, government agencies and other entities do everything from fight credit-card fraud and find the best ways to treat hospitalized patients to identify potentially endangered species.

Interested in finding a project that might be specific to what you do? I've collected and categorized them all in a searchable table below -- click through any item in the first column to see a project profile. Or, you can browse the projects by starting with Finding ROI in a swirl of data analytics and then clicking through them in the navigation strip at the bottom of all the project profiles.

Data+ Editors' Choice Projects

OrganizationIssuesIndustryTechnologyVendor
Childen's National Health System Find geographic clusters of health problems Healthcare Electronic health records, GIS Esri
City of Buffalo, NY Deal effectively with consumer feedback Government CRM KANA
Conservation International Identify threats to species and habitats Environment IoT, image analysis Hewlett-Packard
DirecTV Create personalized advertisements Media, Marketing, Advertising Personalization NA
FICO Stop credit-card fraud Finance, Retail, Security Predictive analytics NA
FloraCraft Forecast need for materials, monitor performance & more Manufacturing ERP Plex Systems
GDELT Project Better understand the world through the world's largest unclassified data set Non-profit Database Google's Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, Translate and BigQuery; numerous other open-source
Loyola University, MD Keep data secure by understanding user activity and access needs Education, Security Data access monitoring and management DatAdvantage from Varonis Systems
Memorial Healthcare Find cost efficiencies and improve patient cre Healthcare Business Intelligence BI Office from Pyramid Analytics, Microsoft SQL Server
Merck Uncover hidden value in the organization through centralized analytics Healthcare, Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence NA
Mercy Healthcare Objectively assess different treatment methods by analyzing patient records Healthcare Electronic health records Ayasdi
National Grid Predict storm impacts Energy Predictive analytics In-house with MIT
PayPal Detect and fight payment fraud Finance, Retail, Security Predictive analytics, Machine learning In-house
Randall-Reilly Uncover useful sales insights from existing data Marketing Services Business Intelligence In-house
Schneider Electric Track expiring service agreements; Impove accuracy of price quotes Industrial Software Business Intelligence AutoQuote Campaign Engine and ServiceExchange from MaintenanceNet
TempuTech Prevent equipment failure Agriculture, Industrial Automation IoT, Cloud in-house with GE Intelligent Platform
UPS Optimize delivery-truck routes Delivery & Freight Services Fleet telematics, GIS In-house ORION platform
World Resources Institute Measure deforestation risk Manufacturing Supply chain management Blue Raster LLC, Esri
Zulily Speed inventory decisions Retail Hadoop, others Gogle's Cloud Platform including Hadoop on Google's Compute Engine and BigQuery
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