“Technology is the enabler.”
Those are beautiful words, right out of the mouth of Tim Garza – director of IT at Californias Natural Resources Agency.
There’s a big problem Tim is trying to solve and mitigate the effects of: draughts in California.
But Tim has an excellent solution. It’s called real-time analytics.
As was written in an article at WSJ, the state of California is certainly not behind on having data: up to this date it has collected 11 petabytes of environmental and related data (hint: that’s a lot).
There has been a problem to all of this data, though:
“But this information about wildlife, fire management, water usage, energy consumption and other aspects of California’s vast natural resources generally has been stored in separate databases, spreadsheets, web portals and paper files, he said.”
This is precisely the problem encountered in many of the corporations we have worked with: lots of data, shattered all over the place.
So, Tim Garza started with one key (although insufficient in itself) component of IoT – sensors.
The state has now placed sensors in streams, soil and aqueducts, to monitor water levels. The new analytics system should allow state agencies to collect and analyze that data quickly, to more precisely manage public policy around the drought.
The idea is to do more sophisticated modeling of the drought and efforts to mitigate it. “The key advantage is that data collected in different formats can be used in visual modeling more cohesively for decision making,” he said.
All this is well and good, although we can’t help but to wonder if “a private cloud of 5,000 virtualized servers from VMware Inc. and other vendors” is really needed.
The story of Californias data handling to mitigate the effects of draughts serves as an interesting analogy, as businesses experience “draughts” as well. These can be sudden stops at production, faulty products and unoptimized manufacturing operations and processes, etc.
The saddening news always is that most businesses already have the data required to put a stop to these kind of unpleasant surprises. What they do not have, in most cases, is a coherent service for making use of that data in real-time. As a result, decisions are delayed – sometimes to the point of them having no effect whatsoever.
But here’s the good news: it does not have to be difficult and time-consuming to move into real-time analytics.
As a matter of fact, 5,000 servers is a little bit of an exaggeration in most cases for simple real-time analytics. You really do not need that kind of data environment.
If you would like to be able to prevent the “draughts” in your business and production, we would advise you to read through our Datasheet about Discovery Analytics (it’s only 2 pages).
Then, send us a message for your complementary data discovery session. We’ll give you a free evaluation on the opportunities on your data.
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