We’re sure it was a huge breakthrough the first time someone was asked to attend a demonstration over free pizza or sandwiches. But what about now? How do you get your customers’ attention when you have genuine news that can help their businesses? Would you challenge them to a race? We bet you will tomorrow! Listen to this.
Gregory Arellano, a senior solutions consultant in the U.S., was part of the recent combining of Hitachi businesses into Hitachi Vantara. Now with the company’s broad range of technologies, products and solutions that include storage, analytics and the internet of things, Greg knew his customers didn’t know how much Hitachi Vantara could do for them. He also knew he had to fix that. From his hobby of flying radio-controlled airplanes, Greg knew first-hand how contemporary planes used data to fly better and faster, and make a better experience for their pilots in fields and parks around the world.
“I realized that the technology today creates lots of data,” Greg said. “Why not combine having fun with being nerdy?” And isn’t that how most great ideas begin? Greg soon built the demonstration of the year to put the “driven” into data-driven insights. Working with his coworkers, he found accelerometers from a sister Hitachi company, attached them to racing go-karts and analyzed the stream of data with Hitachi Vantara’s Pentaho data analytics platform. Then they invited customers and partners to a race at a nearby indoor karting track!
Soon Greg and his coworkers were hosting 25 people racing at speeds up to 45 miles per hour, with streams of data flowing to his servers and data analytics. They combined the track’s timing and scoring data with his G-force data to present the findings to the drivers, including analysis of the G-force traces, charging histories of the electric karts, and of course, rankings of the day’s shortest lap times.
While this was a tiny peek at the data-driven insights available from companies’ data streams, it opened many eyes wide to the possibilities. “I, personally, had no idea the breadth of industries and products Hitachi is in and offers, really amazing stuff,” said one of the drivers. Two others contacted Greg within the week to schedule initial meetings on how to manage and analyze their companies’ data. Try that with a pizza and a presentation!
Where does a good idea come from? Often, it comes from addressing a problem by combining familiar things in new ways. You can thank Greg, who realized the problems of standard presentations and became the catalyst for joining expertise from across Hitachi and from among his coworkers. Now you can copy his idea. But be quick. We’re pretty sure he’ll have another new one before too long.