Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Know your products and your customers

Sometimes its the small data hidden inside the Big Data that ends up making a huge impact on the business. Often we find our customers using Glassbeam machine data analytics to find all sorts of information about their customers that they could never have known if not for their machine data logs.

When a problem occurs in a product out in the field its important to know who else( which other customer) could be affected by the issue. Product managers and customer services people can then proactively notify them about it. When you have multiple products or many different versions/models of a product this becomes complicated. Your field sales does not have the time to keep track of the most recent changes to every device you have shipped to every customer. The only source of truth is your machine data.

Mining this machine data using Glassbeam, our customers have been able to identify the high priority accounts that have a similar problem and proactively communicate to their customers about issues and resolutions. This leads to lower costs and higher customer satisfaction.

In other situations our customers have found product usage information that was not possible to detect without logs. For example, one of our projects involved working with a company that sells fire detection and other industrial equipment. This particular equipment included a lens that tracked possible contamination or dirt levels in an environment. But the lens itself can get dirty overtime and needs to be replaced. In order to determine the level of dirt in the lens a sensor would send back data periodically indicating the dirt level. While analyzing the sensor logs, we found that the dirt level did not change overtime in some locations. This was puzzling since the lens does get dirty after months of normal use. The coating must have been so good or something else was going on. Our customer further investigated this and found that in such cases the installer had forgotten to remove the lens cap!!!

Machine data is informative and insightful if mined the right way. While there is a lot of talk around Big Data, its the small data hidden inside the Big Data such as machine data that often provide the Ahahs!

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