IBM and UK Science & Technology Facilities Council form Big Data Innovation Hub

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 throughput.

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.

Source: IBM


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