Ford uses R for data-driven decision making

By David Smith

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Mike Cavaretta is Ford Motor Company’s Chief Data Scientist, and was tasked by the incoming CEO Alan Mulally to help change the culture so that “important decisions within the company had to be based on data”. In a feature article at Dataconomy, he reveals that R is a big part of this revolution at Ford:

On the statistical side, we did a lot of stuff in R. … We’ve done a lot more with R and we’re currently evaluating Pentaho. So we’ve really moved from more point solutions for solving particular problems, to more of a framework and understanding different needs in different areas. For example, there may be certain times when SAS is great for analysis because we already have implementations, and it’s easier to get that into production. There are other times when R is a better choice because it’s got certain packages that makes that analysis a lot easier, so we’re working on trying to put all that together.

Data Science is revolutionizing Ford’s products, too. Among the applications Cavaratta describes:

  • Breaking down data silos between analytics groups within Ford;
  • Understanding how drivers are using electric cars, based on opt-in telemetry data from the cars themselves; and
  • Supporting the development of features in vehicles by looking at social media chatter about them. (He gives a great example related to the “three-blink” turn signal in the Ford Fiesta.)

You can read more about Ford’s use of data science and R at the link below, or explore more companies using R.

Dataconomy: How Ford Uses Data Science: Past, Present and Future (via @JulianHi)

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