unlocking data to solve real world business challenges

Yesterday, I had the privilege to speak at the Olin College of Engineering at the Olin Innovation Lab hosted by the Olin CIO Joanne Kossuth.

OIL-March2016My keynote was titled “unlocking data to solve real world business challenges”. Think about it. The very data you need to solve a problem may be hidden away. Hidden, because that data can be located inside documents, images, videos, emails, or even inside a database. And what about file shares.

I shared some of the lessons I learned over the last 5 1/2 years leading the team at BP managing the information and data from the Gulf Oil Spill.

One example was the data locked away inside invoices for the spend responding to the spill. Some of the invoices were over 1000 pages. So, how do you unlock this data? We used intelligent optical character recognition to extract the data from the invoice. Then we imported that data into a database and linked that data to the invoice. Now invoice line item data within the invoice was available for queries and search. When the data of interest is found the analyst could click on the data result and view the original invoice information.

I will be sharing other examples of unlocking data over the next few posts. Eventually I will make my keynote available here on this site.

Question: What are some other examples of hidden data that you can think of? Leave a comment below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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2 thoughts on “unlocking data to solve real world business challenges

  1. A fascinating accounting of the challenges of tracking information in the wake of the BP oil spill. Thank you Russ for your insights, and for visiting the Olin College Innovation Lab!

    • Thanks Sally. It was great to meet you. I think what you are doing at Olin is so important. I look forward to helping in any way to increase the number of students we graduate as engineers and scientists.