Geoffrey Marsh

Winning the Race

Blog Post created by Geoffrey Marsh Employee on Jun 15, 2018

A week or so ago I had the privilege of going to the Grand Prix of Montreal. First off let me say those cars are an engineering marvel. Roughly 1000 horsepower, ability to hit unbelievable speeds on the straight away and take hairpin corners at speeds that my car can barely achieve on the freeway. One thing really struck me on this yes, their engines are made and tuned by the best of the best and they very well may be the best drivers on the planet but there must be something more to it.

So, if we assume that they all have the same horsepower, the same body, same chassis, and the drivers are all of the next level skill what could that be? Then it dawned on me. It was DATA!

Every so often the camera would pan over to the pit area and you could see numerous crew members huddled around monitors, laptops, and tablets. All looking for the data to show them what was working well and what needed to be changed. I know the drivers would give them recommendations like the steering is lose in the turn or the tires are not gripping but I saw some of the analytics coming off the cars and it was astounding.

Now the outcome of the race was basically determined during qualifying as the driver that made the pole position set a course record and then on race day he started in first and ended in first, but not only did he win no one even came close, not even his teammate. Going back to my earlier point his teammate had the same car with the same engine, but you could see the winning car just had more.

There really only can be one reason for this. The crew working on his car was reading into the data better. They were able to get what they needed, analyze it and make the small tweaks to give him that edge and that edge paid off.

We can translate that to business and our everyday workings. Are we not trying to get that edge ahead of the competition? Maybe it is not getting to the finish line first but rather a new product introduction to get to market first, or maybe it is a race to reduce overall costs to make you more profitable. Bottom line time is money. Speed to value matters.

The crew of the Scuderia Ferrari used the right tools to get the data they needed when they needed it to be able to make those split-second decisions that made them the winner and set a record I might add.

Hitachi analytics through Pentaho can do that. A no hand coding easy data integration and engineering platform will get you the data you need when you need it to get ahead of your competition.