Extracting Value Using Big Data & IOT Technologies


Big Data & the Internet of Things (IOT) are the buzzwords of the moment, but many organisations are struggling to realise the potential value the ecosystem of technologies can bring. In advance of the forthcoming itelligence conference in London, David Milburn (@DavidAMilburn), Principal Consultant, discusses some real world examples where customers are deriving value.

Organisations today are facing a digital revolution which is challenging many organisations to adapt or be left behind. Organisations embracing this digital revolution have recognised they can drive transformational change through information in ways that could never be done before at a realistic price. These innovative organisations are disrupting their business models in order to gain competitive advantage, improve efficiency and improve customer and business services.

BIG DATA & IOT technologies are now at a point where they support the traditional challenges associated with volume, variety and velocity but also support other challenges which have constrained options to date e.g. Data Security & Governance. In addition, network capabilities have also evolved to support the rapid transfer of data from sensors at the edge of a network and also to support lowering of infrastructure costs through cloud deployments.

In this blog, I would like to step back from the technical decisions associated with such technologies and provide some sector examples which provide insight in to how organisations are transforming their business models using BIG DATA & IOT solutions, SAP HANA and partner related technologies like Hadoop.


SAP has partnered with many sensor providers to enable manufacturing plants to gain insight from their physical operations and is building out the SAP HANA Cloud Platform to support the orchestration, ingestion and exploitation of IOT data. One large car manufacturer utilised their solution and data to:

  • Lower IT integration costs to their back-end systems;
  • Improve operational excellence through the data gathered (reduce set up times, preventative maintenance, real-time insight, process control for quality and support design improvements); and
  • Reduce costs of services through lower maintenance and other initiatives highlighted by combining the sensor data with their ERP data

Distribution & Supply Chain

In 2015 SAP published a major case study on the Digital Transformation of the world’s busiest ports –Hamburg Port Authority – using the SAP Networked Logistics Hub solution. This solution with integrated Telematics data, geospatial positioning and an end to end port supply chain enabled the port to:

  • Reduce amount of driving per truck/tour (5,000 hours per day);
  • Increase cargo handling in the port twofold;
  • Increase port throughput for freight forwarders; and
  • Improve on-time delivery

Consumer Products

A large international confectioner faced a challenge associated with scalability as it wanted to transform sales & marketing operations to increase sales especially during key holidays. Any chosen solution had to also optimise inventories across stores and reduce inter-store transfers and price mark-downs. The company deployed a cloud based Hadoop solution alongside their existing SAP applications to create a virtual enterprise data warehouse. Business analysts accessed this data warehouse using the SAP analytical products to:

  • Increase store sales by 15% for Easter 2014;
  • Reduce Inventory up to 40% and increase inventory turnover 3.5 times;
  • Provide real-time insights enabling them to react immediately to consumer trends; and
  • Save $3m on software licence and services

Financial Services

Using Hadoop technologies alongside advanced data analysis and analytics are fundamental drivers to enable modern insurance companies reduce the impact of fraud on the company’s bottom line. Hadoop technologies enabled one such insurer to identify key patterns from free-form text such as claim notes which enabled models to proactively improve identification of fraud prior to policy issuance or during claim filing. The solution enabled the insurer to:

  • Incorporate many more years of unstructured data to feed into models;
  • Improve effectiveness of model prediction; and
  • Re-purpose over 1,000 IT man hours per annum from custom data integration & data wrangling to other more valuable IT projects

The above examples have been delivered using combinations of technologies such as SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP analytical products & Hadoop to achieve the right customer outcome.

The message is clearly out – choose to disrupt your business before someone else does. At itelligence, we have responded to technological innovations by disrupting our own business model and processes to help our customers make the next step with BIG DATA & IOT technologies. If you have an interest in BIG DATA & IOT join me at our customer conference to understand more and gain insight in to the steps we have made to date for supporting our customers with proof of value exercises and delivering such projects.

The itelligence Conference 2016, ‘Making Digital Real’, is being held at 155 Bishopsgate on 17th May 2016.

For further information and to register for the event please go to http://uk-lp.itelligencegroup.com/annual-conference-2016/

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