General Electric launches data lake service to streamline industry Big Data

GE says the data lake approach will make Big Data collection more efficient and effective for airlines, railroads, hospitals and utilities.

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General Electric has announced the creation of a data lake software approach to make collection and analysis of Big Data more effective for large industry players.

Announced on Monday, the new service is designed to give global industrial customers including airlines, railroads, hospitals and utilities better access to Big Data, as well as improve the analysis and storage of up to petabytes of industrial-strength information.

Created in partnership with platform-as-service (PaaS) provider Pivotal, GE says the data lake approach has a "2,000x" performance improvement on analysis time, which will allow industry players to spend less time and money managing intensive processes and focus more on turning the data into action -- improving supply chains, customer service and operations.

"Big and fast data is a critical piece of how modern industry is reinventing itself in order to innovate and compete," said Paul Maritz, CEO of Pivotal. "The new industrial data lake architecture answers the call for the fast and highly scalable management of the unique industrial big data that is helping global enterprises transform their operations and build a new class of applications."

The approach is built on software provided by Pivotal and integrates GE's PredixTM software. These services allow real-time Big Data collection generated by systems such as aircraft, and runs analytics on this data to help companies operate more efficiently. The Connecticut-based firm says that in the case of AirAsia, this technology has resulted in a cost saving of over one percent of the airline's annual fuel bill.

GE is using the new approach to manage and analyze flight data for its customers, including many of the world's largest airlines worldwide. In a 2013 pilot, GE Aviation collected information on 15,000 flights from 25 different airlines at about 14 gigabytes of metrics per flight, and the firm says that by using the data lake approach, it was able to produce measurable cost savings of 10x and significantly reduce analysis time from months to days.

GE expects the data collection to grow to 10 million flights and 1,500TB of flight data by next year.

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