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Strathclyde Business School

Using ‘big data’ to help drive down costs

By Matthew Revie - Posted on 13 March 2014

Dr Matthew Revie of Strathclyde Business School looks at the growing role played by big data in saving companies (and people) money…

The future role of Scotland’s oil and gas sector has been making headlines in recent weeks. The final recommendations of the Wood Review made it clear that increased regulation and greater investment were needed to keep the industry profitable for the next generation. One of the greatest challenges for the sector in the coming years will be to improve the efficiency of existing assets and to develop new technology which makes further exploration attractive.

To do this, organisations are looking to utilise the vast amounts of data that they are collecting. Strathclyde Business School recently announced a formal partnership with the professional services firm, Deloitte, which will see academics provide expertise and support the implementation of large scale analytics projects. This new partnership will help companies analyse and utilise their data in a wide range of ways, from automating maintenance on offshore wind farms to managing complex supply chains, all the way through to predicting customer behaviour. All of these ultimately help to drive down costs for the public.

With a specific focus on maintenance analytics, the partnership will help to build on the existing work carried out at Strathclyde University to help benefit companies with complex assets. Why? Well, an accurate understanding of trends and patterns can extend the lifespan of assets such as oil platforms, which rely heavily on information to work efficiently, perform financially and operate safely.

As a leading technological university, we have a depth of expertise and knowledge which can be put to very good use in industry, both here in the UK and internationally. This partnership with Deloitte is a perfect example of the innovative collaborations that we’re creating with industry partners to combine our strengths in a way which can have tangible effects on complex societal problems. At the heart of this partnership, however, is a focus on creating clear benefit for students by ensuring teaching and research is informed by the latest trends in business, industry and research.

The array of data now available means its application can help businesses with all sorts of decision-making and problem solving. Analytics is fast becoming a significant source of competitive advantage in every sector, and many companies are now positioning themselves to manage and analyse data in order to better inform future decision making and exploit its commercial value.

Data is an under-utilised tool for most companies but we believe it can be immensely powerful for any organisation if it is applied correctly. By better understanding patterns and trends in data, it’s possible to predict the behaviour of assets, customers and markets in a way which can really put companies ahead.

What do you think about the use of big data? Could it help your company save money? Let us know in the comments below…

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