Genpact’s Chief Digital Officer Sanjay Srivastavam explains the key role that analytics plays in motorsport…

At the recent AI Summit in New York, I met with Sylvain Filippi, managing director and CTO of the Envision Virgin Racing Formula E team, and we discussed the key role that analytics plays in motorsport – as it does in business. What’s interesting is that racing condenses an entire business cycle into a 45-minute race. And as a result, a 45-minute deep dive into racing can give us a great view of the role of analytics in business over a year.

“In racing, without data, you couldn’t even get started,” Sylvain emphasised. “How we use data is at the heart of what we do.”

The Envision Virgin Racing team uses data in two different ways. The first is to collect a lot of data from the car – well-structured and well-quantified data – which it uses to optimise the car performance throughout the day, from the mechanical setup to the way they deploy the energy around the track. The second is to use all the unstructured data that will help them win the race. Motorsport is very unpredictable and there are millions of possible scenarios that can unfold during a race. By using data combined with AI, we can accelerate our understanding of the data to formulate the best strategy and make the best decisions during the race.

We see this in our partnership with the Envision Virgin Racing team– we build digital twins, pulling all of the sensory data into one place, from brakes to engines, from inverters to accelerators to compressors – and apply artificial intelligence (AI) to this data to help them win races. Whether it’s from the car, the driver, weather forecasts, or track conditions, AI will make sense of this data so the team can make faster, more instinctive decisions and deliver better performance.

In business, the impact of data is just as important.

Unfortunately, most businesses aren’t harnessing the power of their data – approximately 65–75% of enterprise data is never used in business. There are two kinds of companies – the ones that were started on a foundation of data (like LinkedIn or Netflix) and the ones that are built on a different value proposition but that are now changing and embracing and building that foundation of data. The journey of going from a reactive, static reporting approach to data as an asset to a proactive, predictive, instinctive approach to using data is what separates the winners from the losers.

For one of our clients, an aircraft engine manufacturer, we analyse the data streams from all of the 350 sensors coming off the jet engine blades to predict future failures and plan predictive maintenance. If a plane is on its way to Singapore, you want a part ordered and ready 17 hours later when it lands, so it doesn’t get grounded for another three days. But predictive maintenance is just the first step. What’s really interesting is that data not only solves the specific problem of predictive maintenance, but is also actually changing the industry completely. That industry has gone from people that design, manufacture, and sell aircraft engines to a completely new industry that designs and manufactures aircraft engines but actually sells air miles flown. This is the transformative power unleashed by data analytics.

For me, successful companies will be the ones that extract, wrangle, structure, and analyse this huge volume of data to generate insights, innovate, and transform to compete. Just like Envision Virgin Racing.

For more information on Genpact and it’s work with the team visit: https://www.genpact.com/instinctive-racing

By Sanjay Srivastavam, Chief Digital Officer at Genpact

Sanjay runs Genpact’s growing Digital business, overseeing the Genpact Cora platform and all Digital products and services.