11 Great Things Companies Are Doing With Big Data

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 08-25-2014 Email Print this article Print

One company is using big data to improve the aviation industry's on-time performance. Another is turning to analytics to streamline the launch of complex marketing campaigns. A third is reducing its environment impact through these tools. By now, it's clear that the potential for data analytics is limited only by the human imagination. That's great news for businesses as they deploy these solutions to boost brand loyalty, increase sales, expand to new markets, improve efficiencies and lower expenses. All of these factors, of course, have elevated the strategic presence of the CIO and his or her IT department. So given the interest in ongoing developments in innovation here, we thought you'd enjoy reading about how the following 11 companies are transforming metrics into impact-making assets. They represent a wide range of industry niches—among them are pro football and gambling. They were compiled by a number of online resources, including those posted by SAS and IBM's Building a Smarter Planet blog. For more about the SAS research on this topic, click here.  For more about the Smarter Planet blog research, click here.

  • Just Do It

    Nike is using data to create more sustainable designs for its products, including a dye technique which requires no water.
    Just Do It
  • Approval Rating

    LendUp, a banking startup, evaluates whether to approve loan applicants according to how a user interacts with its site.
    Approval Rating
  • On Schedule

    GE monitors the performance of its jet engines to flag maintenance needs (such as blade wear), thus reducing flight cancellations for customers.
    On Schedule
  • Happy Talk

    Via language-processing software, United Healthcare analyzes text converted from call center conversations to determine customer satisfaction levels.
    Happy Talk
  • Game Plan

    The NFL's Atlanta Falcons uses GPS technology to assess player movements during practices, which helps the coaches create more efficient plays.
    Game Plan
  • Favorable Odds

    Looking to maintain customer loyalty, Caesars Entertainment combines patrons' gambling outcomes with their rewards program information to offer enticing perks to those who are losing at the tables.
    Favorable Odds
  • Healthy Concept

    Google is working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control by tracking when users are inputting search terms related to flu topics, to help predict which regions may experience outbreaks.
    Healthy Concept
  • Going Places, Part I

    Norfolk Southern deploys customized software to monitor rail traffic and reduce congestion, enabling trains to operate at higher speeds. The company forecasts $200 million in savings by making trains run just 1 mph faster.
    Going Places, Part I
  • Going Places, Part II

    Through telematics sensors in more than 46,000 vehicles, UPS monitors speed, direction and other drive performance metrics to design better routes.
    Going Places, Part II
  • Big (Data) Rewards

    Bank of America's "BankAmeriDeals" provides cash-back offers to credit and debit-card customers based upon analyses of their prior purchases.
    Big (Data) Rewards
  • Market Watch

    Sears has consolidated data relating to customers, products, sales and campaigns to reduce the time needed to launch major marketing campaigns from eight weeks to one.
    Market Watch
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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