Predictive Analytics for The Automobile Sector

predictiveanalytics1The automobile sector is increasingly using big data to produce efficient products and enhance the driving experience. The existing automobiles are extremely instrumented.

Until recently, the information was mostly in the vehicle, but there is an opportunity to use the information and comprehend the cars functioning or the consumers’ choice in a better manner.

The information can be fed back into the design process to maximize the consumers’ experience. The automotive sector is on the verge of a big data explosion.

Automobile firms have the prospect of leveraging modified sources of big data to expedite the product design, improve vehicle performance, and enhance the driving experience.

The sources of data include:

  • Unstructured data produced internally – emails, consumer comments, design notes, service and maintenance notes.
  • Unstructured data available outside (social media, blogs, product reviews).
  • Sensor-generated data (sensors, onboard communications, GPS, telematics) – This is vital as manufacturers shift towards the “connected vehicle” with more than 10,000+ sensors for each vehicle generating various data, including MPH, MPG, RPM, oil pressure, water temperature, engine temperature, tire wear, oil viscosity and fuel efficiency.

The big data can yield insights into the automobile sectors key business functions:

Warranty Analysis

Automotive firms can enhance their capability to predict warranty costs/warranty liabilities by configuring consumer information, dealer service notes and current warranty claims data.

Predictive Maintenance

The huge amount of data created by 1,000s of onboard sensors delivers the opportunity to overcome nonconforming events along with initiating corrective actions on the critical product performance issues.

Product Performance

Development personnel would want to review the performance of the vehicles along with a distinct vehicle subsystem to facilitate improved product design in the future.

The ability to evaluate a distinct product’s performance assists in reducing the product development cycle by identifying the key development functions.

Parts Forecasting and Distribution

Any information on warranty trends (the car, component, geography, season) can enhance the efficiency of inventory, distribution, supply chain systems while eliminating unwanted costs. This would be a win-win scenario for customers, dealers, and manufacturers.

Dealer Satisfaction

Analyzing social media and the blogs could help in understanding the dealer satisfaction. At the same time, automotive firms can access other sources of data to comprehend and evaluate driver behaviors to enhance the complete driver experience.

The new data sources are:

  • Embedded car sensors.
  • On-board navigation (GM’s OnStar, Ford SYNC).
  • Telematics (like Progressive Snapshot).
  • GPS-enable Smartphone apps.
  • Weather conditions.

Transforming marketing environments, increased competition, cost pressure, and instability are resulting in a change in the market outlook. Leveraging cutting-edge analytics would create an exponential value.

In order to completely benefit from analytics needs a wide-ranging set of competencies that integrate various functions and groups across the organization.

Analytics would enable an automobile organization to have an insight across various domains of the business, thereby facilitating informed decision making.

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Nuclear Waste Storage


The production, storage and management of the nuclear wastes are a serious issue for key stakeholders related to the environmental safety.

Across the globe, nuclear power generation and other applications of radioactive materials commenced before a strategy for the disposal was put in place. Nuclear waste can be classified into three levels: low activity/low-level, intermediate activity/intermediate-level, and high activity/high-level wastes.

Low-Level Waste

It consists of materials that can be utilized to manage nuclear material – radiation suits and laboratory equipment. They are usually stored for 15 years securely and after proper packaging, they are disposed of as a waste.

Intermediate-Level Waste

They are heavier in nature (metal fuel cladding, chemical sludge’s and other radioactive wastes) and represented by low heat emission. At first, the waste is enclosed in resin/concrete and then sealed in steel drums.

The drums are then loaded into concrete containers and lowered into concrete trenches (18 meters deep). The trenches are then covered with a concrete slab, a layer of compacted clay, a reinforced concrete intrusion shield, and a final layer of clay.

High-Level Waste

High-level waste is very radioactive and exists in that form for thousands of years. Therefore, storing it safely is a serious issue. The modern storage methods include the utilization of glass vitrification – interfacing the radioactive liquid waste with glass to create a heavy compound. Hence, it has less probability of contaminating the environment.

The energy department is responsible for the establishment of a disposal facility for managing used uranium fuel from America’s nuclear power plants in the long run.

However, the federal government does not have a feasible plan for managing used nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear energy facilities and high-level radioactive waste from defence & research functions.

All commercial used fuel is stored safely at the reactor sites in steel-lined concrete pools filled with water or in airtight steel/concrete-and-steel containers until the federal government plans its disposal.

In the recent past, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has proposed various new disposal options for managing radioactive waste based on a nation’s national legislation, geological variations, and changes in the quantity/features of various waste types.

The IAEA’s Waste Technology Section provides assistance pertaining to the following functions:

  • Establishing disposal programs under the aegis of a framework of an included national radioactive waste management infrastructure.
  • Creating near surface/geological disposal infrastructure.
  • Conserving and spreading waste disposal subject matter expertise.
  • Modifying near-surface repositories.
  • Conducting training in the use of waste disposal technologies.
  • Managing scientific, technical, institutional, and socio-political issues.
  • Facilitating investigations in the usage of regional and global shared disposal facilities.

Nuclear wastes are a substantial aspect of the nuclear power environment, and must be handled and disposed of efficiently. Other alternates for power generation also have specific challenges. Nuclear wastes have not resulted in any serious health or environmental issues globally.

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Cloud Computing in The Healthcare


In comparison to other sectors, the healthcare sector has not leveraged the cloud computing technology to enhance the operational effectiveness.

Healthcare systems depend on paper-based medical documents. Any data that are available in the digital form is not portable. This restricts information sharing between the healthcare stakeholders.

The usage of technology to facilitate care between patients and medical professionals is restricted. Key healthcare stakeholders have pushed for revamping healthcare IT (HIT) and cloud computing is a key architect of the modernization.

The healthcare sector is moving towards an information based delivery system. Cloud computing delivers the basic infrastructure that enables hospitals, medical personnel, insurance firms, and research institutes to access enhanced IT resources at a less capital investment.

Cloud computing provides the following technological benefits to the sector:

  • Facilitates access to computing and mega storage facilities.
  • Assists big data and the electronic health record (EHR).
  • Ensures radiology images and genomic data offloading.
  • Facilitates information sharing (EHRs) between approved medical practitioners and hospitals across multiple locations.
  • Decreases the requirement for duplicate testing.
  • Enhances the information monitoring competencies.

Healthcare information must be in compliance with security, confidentiality, and accessibility requirements among others. Therefore, cloud vendors must ensure these along with complying with government and industry regulations.

Contingencies related to interoperability of IT systems have been a barrier to penetration of cloud computing in the healthcare sector. However, healthcare stakeholders must identify the most appropriate application before transitioning to the cloud (clinical and nonclinical applications).

Clinical applications contain the following:

  • EHRs, physician order entry, and software for imaging/pharmacy use.

Nonclinical applications contain the following:

  • Revenue cycle management, automatic patient billing, cost accounting, payroll management, and claims management.

In several instances, the application type transitioning to the cloud would determine the cloud deployment model (private, public, and hybrid).

In the beginning, cloud deployments for clinical applications would be based on private/hybrid clouds (require exceptional security, privacy and availability). Nonclinical applications have excellent potential for public deployments, but must be evaluated properly.

Healthcare stakeholders must also look at a cloud service model (IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS) that suits their business needs. For instance, a SaaS – pay-per-use business model could be a viable economic prospect (small medical practitioners). This removes the need for IT personnel, while reducing capital expenditure related to the system hardware, the operating systems, and the software.

PaaS is a feasible alternative for mega healthcare institutions with the budget to establish their own cloud-based solutions.

IaaS provides a cost efficient turnkey solution (scalability with security, flexibility, defined service level agreements, built-in backup and data protection).

Healthcare providers must deliver enhanced patient care competencies along with concurrently restricting the healthcare cost enhancement. In spite of the critical benefits of using cloud computing, security, consistency, integration and data portability still remain the key bottlenecks.

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Carbon Capture and Storage

imagesCarbon capture and storage – GHG emission decreasing technology depends on an enabling policy framework for its effective release.

It can make a significant impact on reducing the disastrous consequences of climate change, though the quality of the policy becomes extremely critical.

CCG belongs to a group of technologies that facilitate the capture of CO2 from fuel combustion or industrial processes, the transfer of CO2 through ships/pipelines and the storage below the surface.

According to experts, it can play a vital role in the international transformation to a viable low carbon economy.

At present, short, medium and long-term forecasts for energy demand across the globe signifies fossil fuels combusted in amounts incompatible with mandatory requirements to steady greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations at acceptable levels in the environment.

The entire range of technologies encompassing the CCS chain has been documented. They have been used across sectors over a period of time on a small scale.

However, with the emphasis on restricting climate change, they have been presented at an industrial level (>1Mt CO2). Other than storage, the captured carbon dioxide can also potentially be utilized for Enhanced Hydrocarbon Recovery – Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR), Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR) and Enhanced Coalbed Methane Recovery (ECBM).

Again, from a commercial aspect, any Oil & Gas that can be recovered based on the CCG procedure is critical since it would not have been feasible to extract them under normal circumstances.

According to a report by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (2010) “The combination of carbon dioxide enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR) and permanent CO2 storage in oil reservoirs has the potential to provide a critical near-term solution for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

Oil production traditionally happens in three stages: primary, secondary and tertiary.

During the first stage, natural pressure present within the oil moves it in the direction of the production wells and then to the surface using pumps/mechanisms.

Through the secondary stage, production is based on injecting water into an oil reservoir, thereby enhancing the pressure, which results in oil moving towards the production well.

Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) is the tertiary procedure of oil recovery. It facilitates critical quantities of oil to be extracted.

The quantity of CO2 in the air is increasing and to avoid hazardous climate change, a substantial level of CO2 alleviation is required. The requirement for fossil fuels continues to be robust, particularly in developing nations. CCS is a feasible alternative to reduce emissions from mega emission sources.

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The Aircraft Sales and Acquisition

aircraft-sales-acquisition-ukThe decision to sell or acquire an aircraft should be based on technically and financially accurate information. Before deciding on acquiring an aircraft, one must identify the aircraft type.

There are several critical reasons for acquiring a new aircraft:

  • The existing aircraft is no longer in working condition.
  • The operation of the existing aircraft is not cost effective.
  • The travel needs to have been modified: For instance, long distance travel cannot be serviced by the existing small jet/turboprop operated by the company. On the other hand, if the company has shut down an international division, then having a long distance aircraft would not be a sound business decision.

A mega purchase in a dynamically evolving market could be risky. According to research conducted by aviation sector experts, as aircraft become old, the cost of maintaining the aircraft increases, while the total number of days the aircraft has to be sent for maintenance also increases.

Additionally, for aircraft that are not produced commercially or those having limited production, the availability and pricing of spares could be a serious operational issue.

For commercial airlines, the revenue loss from not being able to fly the required no of days would have a greater impact than any additional cost due to maintenance. Finally, modifications in technology can result in cost-effective solutions – fuel effective fan-jet engines replaced turbojet engines.

The modifications in navigation requirements for airspace in the future (RVSM capable avionics, 8.33 MHz radio spacing) and Stage III/IV would make outdated models technologically obsolete or expensive to upgrade.

Before finalizing an aircraft, it would be prudent to have an acquisition plan based on the following criteria:

  • Determine and quantify the transportation requirements.
  • Identify necessary and preferred needs.
  • Select the aircraft with optimal competencies in catering to the transportation requirements.
  • Analyze the various costs of acquisition: acquisition, operating, and residual values.
  • Consider taxes and market depreciation.

An acquisition plan must have the following features:

  • The organization’s actual aircraft requirements.
  • Critical missions and assessment parameters.
  • Information sources.
  • Technical review.
  • Fleet size.
  • Financial planning.
  • Tax planning.

The process of selling a commercial aircraft can be very complex and should be based on several factors:

  • Adhering to regulatory compliance issues.
  • Meeting taxation requirements.
  • Ensuring liability protection.
  • Identifying market forces – fuel cost, economic development, environmental regulations, market liberalization, and airplane competencies.
  • Forecasting long-term demand.

In the current economic environment, the aircraft transaction market could transform quickly. This results in both opportunities and risks to owners and the probable buyers.

Sellers must leverage a strategic and emphasized method to sell the aircraft based on a commercially viable market position. Buyers must evaluate a wide array of market deals before identifying the most optimal aircraft purchase.

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A New Era of Gold


Today, a new era of gold has dawned on us. After a dip in the gold price during the 1980s and the 1990s gold’s price has progressively increased. For the very first time, the gold has touched $1,200 for an ounce.

Gold has always been powerful. People consider gold as a kind of financial security in difficult times. They usually invest in gold instead of depositing money in banks. After the collapse of financial markets in 2008, the most powerful currency of the world became weaker. There was no surety of money, this led to people invest more and more in gold, which increased the price of gold.

Other reasons for gold value is its durability. It always is the same, recycled and used for various purposes. People have derived the economic value of gold since the ancient times. In Japan, people use to collect gold from old unused mobile phones and other industrial scrap and recycle it. Similarly, in Iraq, people accumulate gold dust and sell it in the jewellery shops to be recycled.

The gold demand is increasing all over the world which has increased the production and has intern lead to a number of environmental problems. An ounce of gold produces more than 30 tons of waste, which is very high as compare to any other metal. Toxic materials can leak into water bodies and contaminate the water. With the rising price of gold, many economists have suggested the powerful nations to go back to the old gold standard, wherein the US dollar and other major currencies are connected to the price of gold.

During the gold standard period, the value of a country’s currency was equal to the price of gold. This had a steadying impact on the country’s economy and the government was only authorized to produce as much money equal to gold. This resulted in a lower inflation rate. On the other side, the old gold standard can have its own disadvantages because during financial crisis the government cannot produce more money to overcome the difficult time.

In conclusion, this growth path for the yellow metal is expected to expand in the long-term due to the favourable economic situation. This may also influence other domains, like gold mines and gold-related equities.

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The Rise of Micro-Multinationals


In the existing global business environment, small is a benefit and often being big is a liability. Hence, several mega multinationals are deciding to establish new enterprises that are alleged to be fast and pioneering outside the parent firm. This allows the new enterprises to experiment with projects and take significant risks.

Micro-multinationals would not only be critical innovators; they would also play a key role in the innovation ecosystems of mega-firms. Micro-multinationals pose an intimidating intellectual threat to the regional innovation systems.

Initiatives from the Government

  • Facilitate new ventures.
  • Quicken progress towards a complete operating digital economy and advanced intellectual property regimes.
  • Identify the significance of globalization and migration. Encourage firms to leverage technology.
  • Develop a wide-array of services that can be provided to regional businesses.
  • Prioritize education and expertise development.
  • Create data that are in sync with the expectations of an advanced economy.

There are several micro-multinationals with a manufacturing base across different global locations.   Several small businesses are extending production to develop low-cost products by functioning in this way. These firms wield significant global influence.

Traditionally, micro-multinationals functioned in specialist sectors, including production and technology. At present, the idea is growing in other sectors. These enterprises exhibit real efficiency by decreasing costs, staking their global existence, and challenging the normal business structure.

Being recognized as an international firm is not the status of only mega firms. Establishing in global regions is the specialty of many small enterprises.

Micro-multinationals have similar attributes as multinationals – sourcing raw materials from international locations to reduce costs, leveraging pioneering technologies, and maintaining robust relationships with the consumers.

Benefits of micro-multinational business:

  • A key aspect of the international economy. They have similar advantages like other small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • Quickly respond to market transformations.
  • Facilitate innovation.
  • The nonexistence of institutional apathy that impacts the mega firms.
  • Leverage international discrepancies in expertise and labour costs.
  • Manage business operations across various time-zones.
  • Drive marketing initiatives in several international markets.

Micro-multinationals would transform the face of international business covering various sectors. They would benefit substantially from cross-border trade.

Small firms are becoming the game changers. They have an excellent opportunity to overcome barriers by developing a seamless global value chain. International presence is not restricted to mega-firms; it is possible for micro-multinationals to make their presence internationally.

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The Reverse Innovation


Reverse innovation is a word denoting to an innovation that is most likely to be used initially in the developing nations before moving to the developed nations.

It denotes largely to the method in which products created as low-cost models to meet the requirements of the developing countries with restricted infrastructure are then repackaged as economical pioneering products for consumers in the developed nations.

The process of reverse innovation starts by emphasizing on requirements for low-priced goods in nations such as India and China.

After the products are created for the market, they are sold in other regions, including the West, at low prices. This process establishes new markets for the innovations.

Normally, firms initiate the globalization attempts by eliminating costly aspects from the well-known product and try to sell the de-featured products in the developing nations. The target audience consists of the wealthy segments of society in the developing nations.

Conversely, reverse innovation results in products which are developed in developing nations, verified in local markets and the successful products are enhanced for delivery in the developed nations.

According to Global Busi­ness Strate­gist, Vijay Govin­darajan, “Reverse inno­va­tion will trans­form just about every industry, including energy, health­care, trans­porta­tion, housing, and con­sumer prod­ucts.”

Reverse innovation is just not about decreasing the cost for the benefit of consumers, but it is about improving the efficiency paradigm and delivering greater value for less.

Currently, developing nations such as India with their growing expendable incomes are a prospective target market for several international firms. However, the consumers in the developing nations find products manufactured by the developed nations expensive.

The markets in developing nations need the products to be manufactured based on specific needs in terms of product efficiency and price. Hence, multinational firms must create products that meet local requirements and are affordable.

The multinationals in order to perform well in the markets are implementing the reverse innovation methodology. It provides them new opportunities in emerging economies and they benefit from economies of scale and better profit margins.

Reverse innovation would restructure the industry principles, market essentials and international development for the multinationals who continuously need to keep prospecting unique ways to become robust in the tough market environments.

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The Chinese Investments in The US Real Estate

dollar charts

According to a report, the Chinese economy may be slowing down, but the investors from China are projected to make substantial investments in the US over the next 10 years.

Actually, the decline of China’s economy could be a key reason driving up investments in nations such as the US.According to a research by the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group, “Chinese direct investment across existing U.S. commercial real estate assets and residential purchases could hit at least $218 billion from 2016 through 2020 — and that’s excluding new development projects.”

Chinese FDI in the US cumulatively increased from $18.1 billion in 2014 to around $22.3 billion in 2015.

As far as the real estate sector is concerned, Chinese investors secured nearly $8.5 billion in commercial real estate and nearly $28.6 billion in residential real estate in 2015.

The commercial purchases are projected to be around $20 billion along with the residential purchases reaching $50 billion in 2025.

There are several reasons for the same. Several firms based in China are looking at the real estate sector in China as an investment opportunity.

From a business perspective, investments result in better understanding of the market dynamics which lead to more investments. The estimated increases of joint ventures could also enhance the number of deals.

In fact, the economic uncertainty in China could spur foreign investment in the short-term as capital moves from China prior to the nation’s currency losing value.

Stringent capital controls could reduce the pace of Chinese investment overseas in the next two years, but that would not impede the long-term growth of investment into domains such as the real estate in the US.

A prominent example of Chinese purchasers spending in the US was the projected $14 billion acquirement of Starwood Hotels by a conglomerate managed by the Anbang Insurance Group. The offer was expected to beat another bid from Marriott, but the conglomerate unexpectedly withdrew the tender – referring to market conditions.

However, Anbang has already made significant investments in the US by purchasing the Strategic Hotels & Resorts from Blackstone for $6.5 billion in 2016 and clinching a deal to acquire New York’s Waldorf-Astoria for $1.95 billion in 2015.

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