The Big Data phenomenon is sometimes as Hamlet in the famous sketch of the Theather Jára Cimrman. Everyone talks about him, waiting, when he finally appears, but no one really knows how he looks. SAP Company decided to change it and brought Big Data Truck to Czech. We could see with our own eyes that the Big Data is not just imaginary phenomenon, but it can greatly affect our lives.
“Box! Box! Box!” Suddenly hears Jason Button in his headphones during a Grand Prix Formula 1. Emphatic command of his team to drove to mechanics to tire replacement at the very end of the round. Although racer himself have not felt any significant change driveability yet, team engineers have precise data, so after consultation with the team they decided to change strategy.
This is how exactly it looks in cooperation with SAP racing team McLaren-Mercedes F1. In each car of this team are over 200 sensors, which generate about 50 GB of data in a single round. These data come directly to the centre of McLaren in Woking near London. Than starts In-memory platform SAP HANA, which is able to analyse and graphically display this huge amount of data (races are run from 50 to 70 rounds) in the real-time. The team thus has information that enable them to change planned strategy during the race and to achieve the best results.
What actually the Big Data are?
Using in Formula 1 is one of the great examples of the Big Data using in practice. Although this name sounds like big, the Big Data are not large especially its volume. Extensive databases are not new in the computer world. If we wanted to work with some great data set in the past, it had one condition. Data had to be structured and described, then was possible for various systems to work with them. The problem is that around us are constantly generated a huge amounts of data those description or structure are not possible. Those had to lie fallow until recently, simply because there was not enough computing power for their processing.
The situation has changed by new faster memories sort of flash disk, which replaced the earlier discs with very slow approach. And so could be given birth to the aforementioned SAP HANA platform, which is able to store all data in memory, which significantly increases the speed of their availability. Thanks to this we can also analyse unstructured data in real time and convert it into a comprehensible graphical form. With which we can further work.
Data in the truck
How can Big Data actually affect our daily lives showed SAP in their Big Data Truck that arrived to the Czech Republic on October 13th and customers or partners of SAP, as well as the general public could visit it until Thursday October 16th in front of the Prague Faculty of Information Technology ČVUT or at the metro station Budějovická. In the truck, incidentally which is otherwise used to carry on racing formulas, were seen several examples of what big data can do. Let us show you at least two examples.
Smart vending machine
Buying a drink or a sandwich from the vending machine is not at first sight something which could be applied to the Big Data. But this needn’t be so. We could see the machine in truck, which did not allow to pay only coins for goods, but also credit card or NFC chip in a mobile phone. In order to receive such payments, it must be connected to the Internet of course. And the situation changes suddenly.
So if you will ever buy something in the future in such a machine, it will suffice you to attach your mobile phone and the splash screen will completely change. It won’t only set your favourite colours and machine will greet you by name, but it will straight offer you the goods that you buy most often. It is of course possible because the machine detects your phone, so the operator knows your shopping history and preferences.
But that’s not all. Connecting of all machines to internet connections to the central office of the trader gives him access to the shopping behaviour of customers in all of his vending machines. And there may come into play the Big Data – Dealer do not have to know what the customer buys of course, but he can use the information from the machines, for example, to find out that customers buying sandwiches with wholemeal bread usually do not buy sweetened drinks, but water or possibly drinks without sugar. So, next time you choose such as whole wheat bun with cheese, vending machine will offer you sparkling water at a discount. All this without the intervention of human hands is only by using the data analysis of customers purchase behaviour.
Get faster to the finish
Sensors are not only in racing cars, but in all today’s cars. There is a lot of talk about so-called connected car, especially navigation producers in cooperation with car producers are working on their internet connection nowadays. Then it opens the door to the situation that car would not only receive information about traffic or traffic jams, but also to make available a range of other options.
In the truck could visitors for example look at a map that displayed traffic throughout Germany. It was simply possible to see how many cars are heading to Berlin or Cologne, how many Škoda cars are currently on the road etc. However at the same time were displayed vehicles based on information from the sensors that have a problem. So, for example, there may be all the cars driving on the highway to Frankfurt informed about the on-board computer display that in their direction is parked car. The driver of the car with lack of fuel automatically receives information about the nearest gas station, and so on.
All these information can travel to the traffic information centre, which can adjust traffic lights change interval based on their speed to ensure the best passability in the city. E.g. Company fleet managers can have them available too, they will have an overview not only of where their company cars are, but also about the fact that they need service or what is the driving style of the particular driver.