How BMW uses big data to boost maintenance and customer service

With big data analytics now becoming a fixture across companies of all sizes and every industry, many businesses will be looking at how they can leverage the technology to gain a march on their competitors and provide the highest possible level of service.

One enterprise that has been detailing its approach to this is automaker BMW. Speaking at the recent EMC World conference, head of business after-sale analytics and digital processes at the organisation Dirk Ruger said this technology will be a vital element of its future customer engagement strategies, V3 reports.

He explained that big data and predictive analytics have been deployed to help the company learn more about what its customers' likes are and what they expect from BMW in the future. Effectively processing this information for insight enables the company to manage its business much more accurately.

One particular area where BMW is poised to benefit is through the use of Internet of Things sensors to identify issues before they arise.

"The primary goal at the moment is predictive maintenance, being able to detect defects at the earliest stage," Mr Ruger stated. "We have to find the right correlation patterns for all our forward memories and incoming data to predict upcoming malfunctions and their consequences."

He also noted there are still challenges remaining as the business looks to rely more heavily on data to inform its decision-making – with the security of this information a key priority.

"We have to handle data while considering and protecting our customers' privacy. We have data from the cars that could be sensitive so this is important to us."

However, he added one of the biggest issues is a lack of synergy between the company's IT and car development teams – something it will look to solve through the use of big data.

Mr Ruger explained that although cars take years to develop, IT can now come with monthly or even daily development cycles. This means that integrating digital development from IT into cars is difficult.

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