Data is crucial to remaining competitive in a rapidly changing world. The key to keeping full control over your business and staying up-to-date on the latest business opportunities is to aggregate as many data sources as possible. To help you complete your digital transformation successfully, ICT Group has developed the 4C model, which outlines the four stages of transforming your business into a data-driven organization. This blog post focuses on the second stage: Collect. New technologies are continuing to change the corporate playing field in increasingly radical ways: the Internet, social media, and various mobile devices are facilitating the direct exchange of data and information worldwide. Consumers can compare prices and service and quality levels at a glance, making it essential for businesses to keep adapting to changing customer needs in order to stay in the game. After all, if they fail to deliver, customers are certain to take their business elsewhere. This makes it more important than ever for companies to be connected to the network economy. Linking data sources and systems to each other in strategic ways gives you a more sophisticated understanding of your customers’ needs. By harvesting and analyzing data relating to your production processes, you can offer your customers the highest-quality products at the lowest prices. The second step that businesses need to take in their shift to a fully data-driven approach is to integrate all information sources. Combining the Right Data Sources While a single data source can provide a wealth of information to help you improve your business operations, aggregating multiple data sources and ecosystems will increase their potential exponentially. You can improve the efficiency of your business’ logistics processes, for example, by comparing data relating to traffic flows, energy prices, and local weather conditions. In a connected world, all relevant objects and devices generate data, making it possible to develop new, smart and sustainable applications, including smart grids. These energy networks are every bit as intelligent as they sound: they facilitate two-way traffic and record data relating to consumption and supply. These ‘smart’ features are essential, as a growing number of renewable energy sources are connected to the power grid. Solar and wind energy are subject to peaks and troughs, and smart distribution makes the smart grid secure, reliable, efficient, and sustainable. GreenFlux: Intelligent Loading Infrastructure Electric vehicles are growing in popularity, but their success depends on a solid charging infrastructure. With its smart infrastructure, GreenFlux – a charging-station operator and service provider in the field of electric transport – provides maximum support to drivers of electric vehicles, aiming to make electric transportation accessible to everyone. The company is putting in place a nationwide, user-friendly charging network in the Netherlands, which will make it easy for electric drivers to charge their vehicles. Smart Grid Regulates Peaks and Troughs in Consumption Electric vehicle drivers should be able to rely on charging facilities being available anywhere, anytime – and that’s where the challenge lies, as the newer generations of electric vehicles consume an increasing amount of energy. It is therefore important for smart-grid energy providers to ensure that utilization is well-balanced and that energy consumption can be accurately estimated. GreenFlux uses a central solution for this purpose that regulates the overall charging infrastructure. Predictive algorithms enable the company to manage energy consumption intelligently. The aggregation of various data sources – including information such as weather conditions, estimated power consumption and location – turns disparate data into relevant business information. Data Ensures Improved Service, Sales, and Marketing GreenFlux currently operates smart charging stations linked together through the Internet. The data generated is stored in a central system and processed in Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform. The company uses Azure as new solutions can be rolled out quickly and easily using this platform. Cloud computing is one of the key building blocks of the system, as it ensures virtually no downtime, data access anywhere, anytime, and automatic scaling where necessary. Having this technology in place enables GreenFlux to provide the highest-quality services to its customers and suppliers. GreenFlux uses the aggregated data it collects to improve its sales and marketing practices, making it possible to tailor its products and services to customers’ requirements as much as possible. Click here for more information about digital transformation.