Today we’re celebrating! First, our team was named a winner of the CIO 100 award, recognizing the innovative ways in which we use IT to deliver business value. Second, Western Digital’s CIO, Steve Phillpott, has been selected as one of 11 new members of the CIO Hall of Fame, acknowledged for his significant accomplishments as a senior technology leader.

 Suraj Rao, JuneAn Lanigan, and Steve Phillpott - CIO 100 Awards
Suraj Rao, JuneAn Lanigan, and Steve Phillpott

What have we done to deserve these honors? Let me share some insight into how we built our cutting-edge Big Data Analytics Platform.

100 Trillion Data Points, Every Day

Western Digital is celebrating 50 years of innovation this year. We have a rich heritage of ingenuity, operational excellence, and research and development (R&D) capabilities. Today, we continue to transform our company to address the unabated growth of data through technologies, solutions and IP. Yet to do this successfully we needed to rethink what we do with our data, how we approach analytics, and build a data strategy.

In 2014, we established the Big Data Analytics Platform (BDAP), with the goal of helping the company future-proof its infrastructure and take advantage of big-data and fast-data workloads, machine learning modeling and in-stream model inference for more value-add predictive and prescriptive analytics across its global sites.

We’ve had a lot of learnings along our journey. Today,the Big Data Analytics Platform has scaled to consume 100 trillion data points daily for access by 3,000 daily users, 320K daily queries, and 10+PB accessible data across 17+ global manufacturing and engineering sites.

The Big Data Analytics Platform

Our Big Data Analytics Platform can provide near real-time IIoT data streaming at our factories, data transformation and aggregation, fast data search, containers for hosting ML application development, and tiered data storage.

Using cloud native technologies and DevOps best practices, BDAP provides the infrastructure (compute, storage, network), IT services, governance and data quality assurance capabilities necessary to execute advanced analytics and AI/ML use cases in both development (experiments) and production (scaled out execution) environments.

Engineers and data scientists can develop advanced analytics use cases in a manner of days vs. months.

Furthermore, by supporting a variety of workloads, including ML modeling and in-stream model inference for more value-add predictive and prescriptive analytics, it allows engineers and data scientists to develop advanced analytics use cases and robust analytics platforms in a manner of days vs. months.

When IT Makes a Business Impact

IT can play a critical role in a company’s time-to-value processes.  By aggregating, governing and leveraging the power of our data we could enable different stakeholders with rapid learning cycles that can validate both business value and technology feasibility, while allowing the company to quickly develop and execute production-level applications.

Furthermore, the 30+ related business projects that leverage our Big Data Analytics Platform have contributed to an aggregated savings of $200M+, increased productivity and overall faster time-to-market. Making a significant impact on the bottom line.

Data is an imperative business tool that can make a difference, if you know how to use it. I’m delighted that we have been recognized for the impact of the Big Data Analytics Platform in transforming our business. Congratulations to the entire IT team and to Steve. Every day we prove that data makes possible.

Learn more about our Big Data Analytics Platform here

JuneAn Lanigan is Global Head of Enterprise Data Management at Western Digital, with over 25 years leading business and IT teams.