Vijay Balakrishnan and GE Transportation are Striving for Brilliance

GE Transportation is a world leader in locomotives, mining, marine, and drilling manufacturing. They are also a data-rich business, continuously collecting information at every possible point – from development and deployment all the way through service and repair. GE Digital is the sub-business of GE that provides horizontal expertise in delivering Digital Technology solutions efficiently to various GE businesses.

As part of GE’s Digital Thread initiative, businesses across the company were encouraged to drive productivity benefits through lean and digitalization of processes in order to convert factories into “Brilliant Factories.” In an industry that tends to be behind in terms of analytics and incorporating new technologies, GE Transportation saw this as an opportunity to jump even further ahead of the pack and bring their business into the 21st century.

The Champion: Vijay Balakrishnan

Vijay Balakrishnan leads the data visualization efforts in GE Digital as part of the Data Horizontal. He set a vision to overhaul aging processes and architecture by leveraging Sisense’s full stack solution to get ahead of the curve. In a mere 13 weeks, Vijay and his relatively small team were able to migrate 40 dashboards to Sisense, train and enable 300+ users, and configure a fully automated, high-availability environment. Following the migration to Sisense, access to information got simplified, adoption increased, and with that, significant cost savings were realized.

Key Challenges

1. Silos of Data

While GE Transportation benefits from a wealth of data, they were previously unable to generate insight reports in an efficient manner. Their siloed data architecture was a challenge further compounded by a technology stack that struggled to keep up. It was difficult to reach into the data, transform the data, and present it at scale at the visualization layer.

2. Limited Data

Two years of data just wasn’t cutting it. Repeated end-user requests for more data to drive deeper and more meaningful insights was exhausting to manage although necessary given the previous architecture. The amount of support tickets alone, logged internally by GE users to get additional data, was in the 100’s over a three-month span.

Approaching Nirvana

After implementing Sisense, Vijay and his team have delivered a solution that is now able to connect to disparate data sources faster and easier than before and at a scale 8x what they were able to do previously. The depth at which GE Transportation can do data-discovery has driven enormous efficiencies across the organization.

Today, GE Transportation has 750 users on Sisense and is growing quickly. Their number of dashboards has also increased substantially, on top of an increase in the amount of data being consumed. Vijay has also integrated predictive models within Sisense to analyze failure rates and root cause symptoms. His team has leveraged the API-based architecture of Sisense to build 10+ UI customizations of their own, on top of leveraging 25+ from the widely growing Sisense community.

Sisense congratulates Vijay Balakrishnan on an incredible achievement.