Announcing the 2020 Databricks Data Team Awards Finalists

SPARK + AI Summit, the world’s biggest gathering of data and artificial intelligence (AI) professionals, has arrived, and this year’s theme is ‘Data Teams Unite!’  So what better time to announce the finalists for the inaugural Databricks Data Team Awards?

The Databricks Data Team Awards celebrate the data teams of engineers, scientists and analysts who are leveraging data and AI to solve the world’s toughest problems. Here at Databricks, we are proud to support these teams with our Unified Analytics platform, which provides a single environment and common data sets to enable collaboration across organizations.

Our selected finalists have helped to redefine what a unified data team can accomplish when they work together on one platform to achieve a common goal—delivering innovation, impact, and helping to make the world a better place.

Here are the finalists in each of the three categories:

Data Team for Good Award

Some data teams are tackling issues that impact us all. And right now, there’s no problem more urgent for data teams than helping healthcare providers, governments, and life sciences organizations find ways to better manage and treat individuals and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aetion

Aetion’s data team is working on a high-impact use case related to the COVID-19 crisis. Specifically, Aetion has partnered with HealthVerity to use Databricks to ingest and process data from multiple inputs into real-time data sets to be used to analyze COVID-19 interventions and to study the pandemic’s impact on health care utilization. Their integrated solution includes a Real-Time Evidence Platform that enables biopharma, regulators, and public health officials to generate evidence on the usage, safety, and effectiveness of prospective treatments for COVID-19 and to continuously update and expand this evidence over time. This new, high-priority use case for Aetion has already produced a social impact—it will be employed in the company’s new research collaboration with the U.S. FDA, which will support the agency’s understanding of and response to the pandemic.

Alignment Healthcare

Alignment Healthcare, a rapidly growing Medicare insurance provider, serves one of the most at-risk groups of the COVID-19 crisis—seniors. While many health plans rely on outdated information and siloed data systems, Alignment processes a wide variety and large volume of near real-time data into a unified architecture to build a revolutionary digital patient ID and comprehensive patient profile by leveraging Azure Databricks. This architecture powers more than 100 AI models designed to effectively manage the health of large populations, engage consumers, and identify vulnerable individuals needing personalized attention—with a goal of improving members’ well-being and saving lives.

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

MUSC is dedicated to delivering the highest quality patient care available while training generations of competent, compassionate health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. MUSC is also known as a pioneer and stepped forward with their ingenuity to assist patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. MUSC has developed machine learning models, trained on their AI Workbench and Databricks, for predicting COVID-19 positive patients and prioritizing testing for high-risk individuals. As a result, MUSC has been able to greatly increase the percentage of high-risk patients tested for COVID-19 and utilize the application to target at-risk populations across South Carolina.

Data Team Impact Award

These are the data teams delivering impact to their organizations, through measurable outcomes like more engaging customer and user experiences, reducing risk and accelerating time-to-market.

Disney+

Disney+ surpassed 50 million paid subscribers in just five months and is available in more than a dozen countries around the world.  Data is essential to understanding customer growth and to improve the overall customer experience for any streaming business.  Disney+ uses Databricks as a core component of its data lake, and using the Databricks Delta Lake, it has been able to build streaming and batch data pipelines supporting petabytes of data.  The platform is enabling teams to collaborate on ideas, explore data, and apply machine learning across the entire customer journey, to foster growth in its subscriber base.

Unilever

Unilever’s Information and Analytics Team have enabled over 50 use cases that drive their business by optimizing Data Products from the Unilever data lake.  At the heart of this data and analytics architecture are cloud-based platforms like Azure and Databricks Delta Lake, by which Unilever’s unified data team is able to process data more rapidly than before, unlocking new business insights that deliver impactful value to business analysts, data scientists and business leaders.

YipitData

YipitData provides data-driven research to empower investors by combining alternative data sources with web data for comprehensive coverage. By leveraging Databricks, YipitData’s data team has been able to reduce processing time by up to 90 percent, increasing their analysts’ ability to deliver impactful, reliable insights to their clients. Additionally, by moving to AWS Databricks and decoupling querying from storage, YipitData has reduced database expenses by almost 60%, from $1.2mm per year on databases to less than $500k.

Data Team Innovation Award

This award recognizes data teams that have pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with data and AI, implementing compelling new use cases that will not only help their organization, but also drive the whole community forward.

Comcast

As one of the key media and telecommunications leaders in the US, Comcast connects millions of people to the moments and experiences that matter most. The Product Analytics & Behavioral Science organization makes that mission possible by translating customer product interaction data to insights for internal teams that can then prescriptively improve existing products and innovate with new products. This united team of data engineers and scientists has built the end-to-end data pipeline on top of Databricks Delta Lake that has been generating data at a rate of more than 25TBs per day with over 3PBs of data being used for consumable insights. aIQ, Comcast’s customer experience platform, uses this data to develop a representative state of the customer’s products and service to contextually help resolve customer questions through digital options in an efficient and timely manner, so customers don’t have to pick up the phone and call Comcast.

Goldman Sachs

To better support its clients, the Goldman Sachs Marcus Data team continues to innovate its offerings and, in this instance, leveraged Databricks to build a next generation big data analytics platform that addresses diverse use cases, spanning from credit risk assessment, to fraud detection to marketing analytics and compliance. The unified data team not only built a robust and reliable infrastructure but also activated and empowered hundreds of analysts and developers in a short number of months.

Zalando

Zalando is Europe’s leading online platform for fashion and lifestyle, based in Berlin, Germany. The company follows a platform approach, offering fashion and lifestyle products to customers in 17 European markets. Databricks is the go-to solution for batch and streaming workloads on large-scale data. Data engineers and Business Intelligence practitioners at Zalando appreciate the ease of use and performance of Databricks.

The countdown is on

The Databricks Data Team Award winners for 2020 will be announced on Friday, June 26, and will be celebrated in an upcoming blog post, so check back to see which of the finalists earned the top spots.

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