Data at the heart of success
Welcome back for a new series of data success stories! This time we decided to focus on three more data-savvy companies.
First we begin with public transportation. The example used is the City of London’s public transportation network: TRANSPORT FOR LONDON (TfL).
With 8.6 million inhabitants and more than 31 million journeys made every day, TfL was bound to resort to data analytics at some point. TfL introduced the Oyster card in 2003 and more recently contactless ticketing, both of which can, and are, used for analysis. This way, TfL is able to map customer journeys and manage unexpected travel-disrupting events. When a problem occurs on one of the lines, the best alternative route which causes the least disruption can quickly be deduced and put into place, the amount of people affected and eligible for refunds are identified, and their bank accounts, in case of a contactless payment, or their oyster card, automatically credited with the refund. Here is a smart and efficient use of data.
No, TfL is not a small business at all and though the amount of data they gather is not comparable to most businesses, their mind-set can: They look at all the channels of information they possess and correlate them to generate benefits. This attitude can be applied to all businesses, big or small.
GASBUDDY is another company that saw the opportunities in data. The company uses crowdsourcing to report on local gas station prices in the United States. Drivers use the app to indicate prices at gas stations by clicking on a station in maps. GasBuddy is taking advantage of the data generated to create statistics and averages that are used by the media. On top of that, they want to create a prediction engine to alert people ahead of time when prices are going up. Very useful. Right?
FOOD GENIUS is a foodservice data provider also located in the United States. It gathered 22 million menu items from 300 000 restaurants, then broke them down by ingredients. They use this knowledge to advise users looking to create menus based on the most popular dishes and the ingredients that the users have. For example, if you own a restaurant and wanted to create a meal with salmon, the service would tell you what the most loved combinations of ingredients with salmon are. Their idea was so popular that they were bought by one of the USA’s leading foodservice distributors, US Foods, in April of last year. Go data analytics!
Success can sometimes come from the simplest of ideas, which data can help accomplish. Once again, stay tuned for more data success stories to come.
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