Internet of Things. Big Data. What’s all the buzz about Data Analytics?

1 Sep

For some time now, Big Data and Internet of Things (IoT) have been popular buzz words. What is big data? How does IoT affect my business? How can I use these to my advantage to make decisions to grow my business? OST has been in the data analytics practice for over half a decade now, working with businesses to help turn their data into a story. A story they can access and utilize everyday to make smarter and faster decisions.

Recently, we sat down with OST data analytics expert, Aaron Kamphius, looking to wrack his brain and understand what data analytics entails and what it could mean to you as a business leader.

What is Data Analytics at OST?

Simply put, Data Analytics is the science of finding greater meaning from raw data. Businesses can use their data to run their businesses more efficiently or make their products/services better. It sounds simple but because of the size, variance, speed, and unreliable nature of data, this can be a difficult task. It takes good infrastructure, database design, tool selection and report/visualization design to pull off a successful Data Analytics implementation. The good news is that OST has been doing Data Analytics for its customers for sometime.

There are 3 big focus areas within data analytics:

  1. The first area is data architecture. Within this area you have database design, data movement and translation (ETL) and data query design.
  2. The second area of focus is on Business Intelligence and data visualization. This area would focus on building traditional reports and newer emerging data visualization and analytical tools.
  3. Big Data is the third area of focus. Big Data is a fairly new concept and deals with large volumes of data that change frequently and are somewhat unreliable in terms of structure. OST works with companies to run analytics around these huge volumes of data that traditional Business Intelligence tools cannot handle.

What are some of the challenges customers would face that would bring them to OST?

There are a handful of opportunities for potential customers to reach out to OST for our data analytics experience:

  1. The business can’t get to the data. They are confident the data is there, but they have a hard time accessing it, much less optimizing it for a global view and slicing it apart to interact with.
  2. A client is developing a new product and wants to take a data first approach in strategy. The company knows that the product will create lot of data and they want to know and understand that from the very beginning.
  3. Routinely, clients have a system that is a few years old and they start to notice it is slowing down. OST is able to take our knowledge of data architecture and use it to evaluate their systems and data and make suggestions to improve systems performance. This type of project can often be teamed with Data Center Services to help bring them the modern technology needed to solve their issues.
  4. Then there are more unique problems coming in from the big data field. The client needs to correlate all of this information, sift through terabytes and terabytes of data to really narrow down what they are looking for- what would help them gain the most knowledge to make better business decisions. OST is able to work with them to do this and create simple platforms for visualization and manipulation.
  5. Medical vertical also is a big opportunity for OST. We have dozens of customers that are using medical EHR systems such as Epic.   OST’s data analytics team has made several strategic investments in this area. We are positioned to deliver a BI solution on top of this data.

What are some examples of work we have done for clients?

OST has been in the Data Analytics practice for about 5 years now. In that time we have worked with numerous clients on their various needs. A few examples would be JCI and Metro Health. With JCI, they knew they had a lot of data coming in from their buildings, but they didn’t have an easy way to analyze and report this data. As mentioned earlier, data isn’t very useful without manipulation. In a short amount of time, OST created a platform to pull apart and synthesize the data they were receiving on building efficiencies in all situations, and create a system that was able to visually report the data. JCI changed their services based on the data, changed how they deploy people into the field, and their overall business model. By working with OST to create a data analytics platform, they are able to use the data they were receiving from their buildings, change behavior, and make smarter business decisions. We also have worked with Metro Health to evaluate how different services and assets inside the hospital are utilized. Through our work, they are now able to make better decisions and have increased scheduling and services utilization rates.

Who at OST is focusing on data Analytics?

I work together with Tom Fish, Alex Jantz, and Stephen Clemenger, as well as others with experience in application development, and a strong subcontractor network. We see this service as a broad partnership with data analytics, DCS, and application development to provide a holistic approach to customers. We have a core team that focuses on Data Analytics and works to utilize the other services OST already offers to provide the best services possible.

What would a customer expect to gain from a data analytics project with OST?

The basic goal of any project would be to provide greater insights into how they conduct their business. We want to align their data and systems so they can better measure business performance and quickly adapt from the data acquired. Data can be evaluated real time so companies have the information they need at their fingertips to implement decisions. We want our clients to have the ability to ingest data from their systems, internet and partner systems to make strategic decisions about their business.

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