Vestas Spins Up Wind Generation with Analytics to Increase Productivity and Democratize Data
Efficient self-service analytics, greater productivity, democratized data
"Vestas is a global market leader in manufacturing and servicing wind turbines," explains Sven Jesper Knudsen, senior data scientist. "Turbines provide a lot of data, and we analyze that data, adapt to changing needs, and work to create a best-in-class wind energy solution that provides the lowest cost of energy.
"To stay ahead, we have created huge stacks of technologies—massive amounts of data storage and technologies to transform data with analytics. That comes at a cost. It requires maintenance and highly skilled personnel, and we simply couldn't keep up. The market had matured, and to stay ahead we needed a new platform.
"If we couldn't deliver on time, we would let users and the whole business down, and start to lose a lot of money on service. For example, if we couldn't deliver a risk report on time, decisions would be made without actually understanding the risk landscape.
"The technology goal was to replace Tableau and Microsoft Power BI and Excel, and a lot of other tools that were creating a mess in our ecosystem. We had a massive number of applications, and it was very difficult to take the single Tableau dashboard, for example, and ramp up. When we were trying to accommodate added requirements, we often reached a dead end—and it was not only analytics. It was also very much the user experience," says Knudsen.
"We wanted a single point of access where users could have a familiar experience creating an analysis, maturing it, and then deploying it throughout the enterprise. Users want more of a smart app experience, with dropdown menus and interactions with graphs and the system behind them. They want that for advanced analytics, as well. They don't want to have a pre-configured dashboard where you cannot drag and drop and dynamically interact with the analytics, like you can with TIBCO solutions.
"We required a tool with open standards because any algorithm out-of-the-box is good, but you need to tweak it. It's a core of data science and also enables the citizen data scientist to do advanced analytics on the spot. Our relationship with TIBCO began when it became very evident that we needed a partner with the experience to unlock the vast amount of data in our super computer. And TIBCO is so much more than just analytics. It's streaming data, the enterprise bus, and the integration platform. All that has a lot of value for us.
"We did a big proof of concept, and it was really amazing. We had 12 really big use cases we managed with a team of four inside Vestas. With TIBCO, we completed that POC within three months, and it met our expectations," says Knudsen.
Knudsen states, “We have definitely been able to meet real-time demand. One of the places we need to deliver risk profiles is Sales. Before using TIBCO, an analyst would take in a request, do the analysis, and send it out by email. When the email arrived in the sales person's inbox, it was already too late because the requirements had changed. The sales guy isn't happy because he sits there with his million dollar contract and doesn't feel we've taken him seriously.
"Now, with on-demand analytics, the salesperson does the whole analysis. He can actually sit with the client and answer questions. Suddenly, we're supporting the process—and actually, what goes on is a very complicated Monte Carlo simulation on 10 years of data, the biggest wind data asset in the world—but he doesn't know that. And who cares? With TIBCO, all that is possible.
"One of the business benefits is clearly workforce productivity. We used to work in small ecosystems and often needed to reinvent analyses because the Excel file or Tableau analysis could not be easily reapplied. Now we use TIBCO analytics templates, data connections with enterprise governance, and self-service advanced analytics using R libraries served via TIBCO solutions.
"We democratized data across Vestas, and the benefit was immediate. We now see use cases in new areas: forecasting of contractual losses for prioritizing and planning service resources, social analytics for understanding market influences, and resource management analytics to plan and forecast technology resources," Knudsen says.
"We have been very successful with analytics across Vestas, but we also need to look inside and manage these analytics to serve the user much better. Some we automate, but others we're providing on the app store where we can monitor behavior and see how people actually analyze the data, so we can make it a much more intelligent platform.”
Vestas is the only global energy company dedicated exclusively to wind energy—and to improving business case certainty and reducing the cost of energy for customers.