Big Data Keeps on Truckin'

Loraine Lawson
Slide Show

Big Data: Not Just for Big Business Anymore

Many of the early success stories with Big Data came from logistics companies.

For example, UPS used sensor data to improve maintenance and fuel efficiency back in 2010. In 2011, CIO.com ran a story about U.S. Xpress, which used Big Data and sensors to save about $6 million a year across its fleet.

So it really shouldn’t be surprising that an intriguing new Big Data business intelligence platform would be unveiled at a recent American Trucking Associations’ executive summit.


Data mining software vendor Vigillo introduced the new solution, which is called Athena after the Greek goddess of wisdom.

I admit I’m not overly familiar with the logistics industry, but I do follow supply chain news and, I have to say, this offering strikes me as unusual in a few ways.

First, the Big Data trucking use cases I’ve seen have been either proprietary or custom-builds based on Hadoop. Vigillo’s Big Data BI platform is open source that can be used by any logistics company.

Second, the platform gathers and gives users access to a ton of data sources. Of course, there’s the usual data from the Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA). But there’s also population data, weather data, GDP data and information on tolls and infrastructure investment, according to the Athena press release.

“Our goal is to intelligently answer the question ‘why’ and deliver that answer to anyone, anywhere, any time and in a way they can understand, whether it’s the CFO or safety manager, shipper, driver or insurer,” said Steve Bryan, CEO of Vigillo. “Athena is designed to pull all of trucking’s data into one platform and then publish that wisdom on demand.”

So, bottom line, Vigillo has very smartly leveraged both Big Data and public data into a new solution. It’ll be fun to see how vendors leverage this dynamic duo of open data and Big Data into new technology tools as these approaches become more widely adopted.

Upcoming webinars:

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 4 p.m. ET, “Five Critical Success Factors for Big Data and Traditional BI,” with Dr. Robin Bloor and Ron Indeck of VelociData. Indeck will discuss VelociData’s “record-breaking data operations appliance,” the blurb notes, but he’ll also discuss the bottleneck problems created by Big Data.

Wednesday, Dec. 18, 1 p.m. ET, “Agile Integration and Governance for the Era of Big Data,” with Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst Ted Friedman and David Corrigan, IBM's director of InfoSphere information integration and governance portfolio. The webcast will cover the challenges of Big Data projects and specific steps organizations can take to ensure Big Data delivers useful and reliable insights.



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