Big data and analytics permeate virtually every move Ford makes, from forecasting the worldwide price of commodities to figuring out what exactly consumers want, what it will build, where it should source parts and how to power its lineup of vehicles.
Here's one way to use big-data skills as the holidays approach: Find out what recipes are most popular. Analysts parsed 78 million November page views at Allrecipes.com to see favorite Thanksgiving foods by state.
Companies are taking matters into their own hands with internal controls, open privacy policies, ethical codes and greater candor over how they're collecting and parsing personal data. But many wonder whether it's enough to allay consumers' fears as techniques for manipulating data multiply.
Dat Tran, deputy assistant secretary for data governance and analysis at the Department of Veterans Affairs, says it's not enough to just collect data. He says the VA needs to transform its data into information that gives decision-makers insights into veterans' needs.
Harvard's Clean Energy Project is using a distributed volunteer computing platform to perform quantum chemical calculations on millions of organic material candidates. Researchers could perform in three years, what a single computer would need 17,000 years to handle.
Ingram Micro implemented a new contract renewal system that uses data from its ERP and CRM systems, product catalogs, pricing documents, and point of sale, ordering and transaction systems to identify expiring contracts.
Armed with data from more than 2,400 healthcare providers, Novation helps hospitals ensure that they're getting the best prices on everything from latex gloves to surgical equipment, offering a mobile app that pushes alerts on changing prices to decision-makers.
LiveRail tracks metrics about advertising campaigns to help the publishers who make up its customer base make better decisions about ad placements, which in turn helps them attract and retain advertisers.
Intel's Security Business Intelligence platform collects and parses event and contextual data at a rate of more than 1 million events per second, and is capable of drilling down into selected anomalies to help users identify the cause of potentially abnormal behavior.
Pharmaceutical services provider Quintiles created a software platform that integrates data and processes associated with a drug's life cycle and collects, cleans and prepares that data for analysis, helping to speed new drugs to market.