Jon Mitchell, CEOSince opening its doors in 2006 as a data company, Illumination Works has grown to become a big data and analytics firm with expertise spanning technologies, methodologies, and skills to match advancements in big data, data science, and analytics. “It was a natural progression for us,” says Jon Mitchell, CEO, Illumination Works. “We have seen the need for big data to progress, and we have to progress with it,” he adds.
The company adopts best practices in the big data arena and rolls them into new technologies for faster insights to address real-world problems with prescriptive recommendations. “We have the experience and expertise to take past knowledge and apply it to new technology solutions and build on existing capabilities to help our customers grow as technologies evolve in ways that bring value to their business,” explains Mitchell. This is not an easy task to accomplish, as according to Mitchell, one of the most common problems is businesses not truly understanding what big data can do for them. “You need to start small,” says the CEO. “We recommend starting with a proof of concept to demonstrate, or prove out, how a customer’s data can give them answers to a question they previously could not answer.”
Further, Illumination Works helps customers decide whether a big data platform would assist in resolving a valid business question. This not only helps them navigate through the ever-expanding tool sets in the big data landscape, but also makes sure that Illumination Works provides a holistic solution based on customer needs. For instance, they recently created a data science team to develop big data algorithms, apply advanced models and machine learning techniques, and dig into some of the toughest business problems their customers face.
“We continue to evolve and grow our solutions by building big data platforms with massive parallel processing technologies, producing predictive analytics and advanced visualization capabilities on large, multi-faceted data sets to deliver real-time answers to complex business questions,” says Mitchell.
What is most important to us isn’t necessarily just using big data to get to the answer, but the actual application of the answer and the information
This has helped Illumination Works solve data challenges for leading organizations, including a Fortune 25 retailer that wanted to understand the cost savings for bulk packaging from each vendor to have better vendor negotiations. With data around all of their operations, the retailer was using a traditional data platform, which was not enough to perform analytics on this data, thus cutting into the cost savings. Illumination Works came in and answered the customer’s lingering question in just 18 hours from their operational data using a big data platform—resulting in the ability to completely bypass the customer’s internal discussion on spend for this project. As a result, the customer knew the exact cost-savings on each bulk-packaging vendor and was able to negotiate or drop vendors accordingly, saving them millions of dollars and increasing their bottom line.
Illumination Works’ future focus is on building out a customer base in the five core industries it serves—retail, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and government. The company also has a keen interest in their Innovation Lab, where they have dedicated developers and data scientists inventing or “innovating” better big data frameworks using cutting-edge technologies. “What is most important to us isn’t necessarily just using big data to get to the answer, but the actual application of the answer and the information,” says Mitchell. These applications range from using the big data platform to pinpoint fraud in a pharmacy, for instance, to providing the right content on mobile devices to drive consumer activity while also giving the consumer the content they desire. “Constant feedback to measure success in real time is what Illumination Works strives to accomplish,” Mitchell signs off.