IBM and UK Science & Technology Facilities Council form Big Data
12 November 2014
IBM has announced that the Science & Technology Facilities
Council’s (STFC) Hartree Centre has created a Big Data innovation
hub using IBM Big Data and Analytics technology to help
organisations solve complex business problems.
The Hartree Centre provides advanced computational and data
analytics facilities as well as access to highly skilled data
scientists to customers looking to tackle their Big Data and
Analytics challenges. Once a company has completed a successful
‘proof of concept’, the STFC team can then help them establish their
operational Big Data Analytics systems, taking them on the journey
from business objective to a fully operational system.
STFC’s Hartree Centre is based at its Daresbury Laboratory in
North West England, located at the Sci-Tech Daresbury national
science and innovation campus. STFC is one of the UK’s seven
publicly funded Research Councils responsible for supporting,
coordinating and promoting research, innovation and skills
development. Following the success of its High Performance Computing
(HPC) initiative in addressing science challenges, the STFC is
looking to further stimulate the UK economy by helping organisations
exploit technology and techniques in Big Data Analytics.
STFC has already worked across several industries to help them
discover the value in a Big Data technology solution and a skills
service before moving to a full implementation, including:
Global pharmaceutical company GSK is working with the Hartree
Centre to develop clustering techniques for disease mapping by
looking at a wide array of source data from various journals and
other records to identify correlations between genes, biological
processes and known diseases.
The Hartree Centre has also helped healthcare providers perform
analytics on hospital performance records to understand correlations
between performance based on cost of service delivery and
Democrata, a UK construction company, is using analytics to
automate environmental impact assessments and better predict risk
to understand the impact of a high speed rail link or a new road
from multiple datasets.
KnowNow Information, an IBM Business partner is helping emergency
service providers improve their decision making and resources
planning. Using analytics technology and data scientists at the
Centre, the emergency services provider can now see patterns of
incidents across their territory and the system can begin to predict
where and when to allocate resources. This has the potential to save
time and money for all emergency response teams.
Lee Hannis, Business Development Manager, Hartree Centre, STFC,
said, “We have a great track record of delivering high performance
computing services to industry developing algorithms and complex
models that are used to create new products faster and cheaper. This
collaboration in data analytics provides an obvious and exciting
extension opening up our skills to a wider audience of businesses.
This toolset will allow any company to accelerate their
understanding of data and its value within their business.”
“As we see the ‘Internet of Things’ evolving with many more
connected devices, we believe Big Data Analytics technology can be
applied to developing new products and services for other areas. The
work we have done with STFC is a great example of this,” said Dixit
Shah, Big Data and Analytics Leader, IBM UK and Ireland.
At the heart of STFC’s IBM Big Data and Analytics environment is
IBM’s Infosphere BigInsights offering enterprise grade Hadoop for
data processing, warehousing and analytics, enabling organizations
to turn large, complex data volumes into meaningful insights.
Complementing BigInsights within the Hartree Centre environment are
Infosphere Streams for real-time analytics with micro-second
latency, IBM Watson Explorer for Big Data exploration and search,
IBM Business Analytics for predictive analytics and Big Data
reporting and visualisation.