Chief Information Officer

Gogo Data Expert Provides Insights Into Company’s Use of Analytics

Igor Beliaev, a member of the data science team at Gogo, offered insights into his company’s use of big data and analytics during his keynote presentation at the 2018 Leadership in Big Data & Analytics Forum in Chicago on December 4. During his keynote presentation, “Analytics at Gogo,” Beliaev provided details about how Gogo leverages analytics to optimize its inflight broadband internet service and other connectivity services.

Big data and analytics are top priorities for global organizations, but some organizations lack the necessary tools and resources to maximize their big data and analytics investments. For example, in certain instances, organizations invest substantial time and resources in big data and analytics technologies but fail to teach employees how to leverage related tools. Or, in other cases, organizations struggle to use big data and analytics technologies to capture timely, relevant data and transform this information into actionable insights.

For Gogo, the process to implement big data and analytics technologies was challenging at times. But the company persevered and appears poised to reap the benefits of big data and analytics in the foreseeable future.

Gogo helps airline passengers stay connected to the internet while they travel around the world. Meanwhile, the company has deployed a big data and analytics strategy to streamline its operations and bolster its efficiency.

At Gogo, the company provides hardware that is installed directly inside an aircraft. If the hardware malfunctions, Gogo may be required to commit significant time and resources to identify the root cause of the problem and correct it.

“If you have to replace something inside of an aircraft, it is not easy for many reasons,” Beliaev pointed out. “So, you can imagine the kinds of costs that go along with making this kind of change.”

Gogo ultimately started to retrieve data and manage a database across a Hadoop environment. Yet optimizing the value of big data and analytics right away proved to be difficult.

To educate its employees about big data and analytics, Gogo worked with external consultants. This allowed the Gogo team to build its big data and analytics expertise, as well as understand the true value of managing data in a Hadoop environment.

“The switch from a big database to a Hadoop environment came with some training. But since we had some people with technical backgrounds, we didn’t suffer as much,” Beliaev noted. “We were complete novices to the big data world … so that external help and injection of common sense from the big data world helped us quite a bit.”

Over time, Gogo has integrated big data and analytics into all aspects of its everyday operations. The company even uses big data and analytics in combination with machine learning to make data-driven predictions – something that could help the business reduce its operating costs in the years to come.

“Now, we are able to do a lot of good things [with analytics],” Beliaev said. “We were able to build machine learning-kind of models … and build a truly predictive model and deploy it successfully into production cycles.”

Gogo has implemented a predictive model that allows the business to identify potential hardware issues before they get out of hand, too. This model helps Gogo detect problems before a client notifies the company about such issues. As a result, the model could help Gogo improve its client satisfaction and retention rates.

“Our model allows us to know when to look at our [hardware] before a client tells us it is not working,” Beliaev indicated.

Gogo uses big data and analytics to study industry and consumer patterns. The company is focused on getting the most out of the data at its disposal, and as such, regularly searches for ways to use data to improve.

“When we take all of our operational messages, we can find patterns in it. And when we present [this data], we can see what is working and what is not,” Beliaev stated.

Gogo also leverages big data and analytics in combination with cloud services. But Gogo strives to maintain flexibility relative to cloud services, as the number of available cloud services continues to increase globally.

“Locking yourself into a single cloud provider may not be a wise idea. Because of the competition, people are coming up with fairly fascinating [cloud] products,” Beliaev noted.

Going forward, Gogo plans to use big data and analytics in combination with key performance indicators (KPIs). The business then can monitor its day-to-day progress in near real-time and quickly identify opportunities and challenges.

Gogo will use a data-driven approach to prioritize innovation as well. The company today represents a leading provider of inflight broadband internet service and connectivity services and remains on the lookout for ways to stay ahead of its rivals. By leveraging big data and analytics, Gogo is well-equipped to do just that.

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