Big Data Solutions for French Multinational
Improving the speed and robustness of algorithms to enhance offerings to customers.
Air Liquide, France
If used properly, data can become one of the most important assets a company possesses. More of it is being generated than ever before and it's driving a new era of innovation. But making sense of all the data and turning it into something actionable, useful and maybe even potentially profitable requires time, effort, insights and creativity.
Some organizations have decided to augment their own resources by going outside their four walls to solicit the input of external innovators. The open innovation concept that is serving so many industries and businesses so well has also been adopted to find gold in the mountains of digital information.
One of those taking advantage of data solutions is Air Liquide a French multinational that supplies industrial gases and services to numerous industries in several countries. In 2018 it decided to hold its first-ever regional student competition in Southeast Asia on the theme of data science. The contest was dubbed 'Future Ready' and tasked participants with creating the most precise algorithms to either predict a customer's gas consumption or a plant's energy consumption.
A total of 648 students, primarily from data science, information technology and computer engineering took up the call. They came from universities across Southeast Asia and six finalists were invited to Kuala Lumpur to demonstrate the accuracy, robustness and speed of their algorithms.
The winner of the 'Predict my Customer Needs' challenge was Wang Sheng Liu of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore while the winner of the 'Predict my Plant Consumption' challenge was Perry Wang of the National University of Singapore. Both won a five-day trip to Paris and a visit to the Air Liquide Innovation Lab.
For Air Liquide, this was more than a way to provide students with valuable experience. The winning algorithms will be incorporated into the company's Digital Strategy in Southeast Asia. This approach is all about leveraging the power of digital to provide world-class customer experiences. It involves harnessing data to create digital solutions to better manage its assets and enhance its interactions with customers among other things.
As part of this, the company has opened a Smart Innovative Operations Center for Southeast Asia and the Pacific in Kuala Lumpur. Its principal function is to remotely control and optimize the operations of its production units.
The big data boom is here and Air Liquide is extracting as much value from it as it can.
"With data science playing a crucial role in Industry 4.0, we are glad to collaborate with young, talented students who gave fresh insights on this topic," commented NG Boon Hai, Vice President of Southeast Asia Cluster. "This competition is in line with our open innovation approach, as we heavily rely on big data and predictive analytics to better serve our customers and to run our plants efficiently."
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