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The power and potential of Big Data

Date: 9/09/2014 | Author: Jason Fazackerley

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Ahead of RWM, Resource Efficient Business and Prodware will be publishing an article every day on the Top Ten Drivers for Recycling Change.

We would like you to share your views on which of these 10 ideas you think will be the most significant drivers for recycling change. Come to the Prodware stand at RWM (4F106-G107) and show what you believe will be the key drivers on the 'Cool Wall' or tweet your Top 3 to @ProdwareUK and/or @ResourceEBnews using #TopRecycling

Today, we look at Big Data:

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Big Data is omnipresent. It is a technology that affects our everyday lives in so many ways, though most of us know little of it. Is it impacting the waste, recycling and environmental sectors?

Big Data is already being used by most of us - we just haven’t perhaps recognised it.

Sat-nav is a good example. Our vehicles take advantage of Big Data to calculate the most timely or efficient route vehicles take to move materials around the country, reacting quickly to real-time conditions en route.

But what if we could take it a stage further? Waste and recycling companies often carry huge overheads, particularly in the depots manned and the vehicles deployed. Using Big Data we are able to analyse the location of our facilities, the customers we service and the routes we drive, taking into account accurate data from our internal systems, but also that from other outside sources.

From here we can remodel our whole business, and look at alternative solutions that provide the right service to our customers, but potentially on much lower overheads.

Software solutions, and powerful servers, can take all of that data and apply millions of what-ifs to come up with suggested changes – perhaps merging territories, closing operations in certain areas, or investing in new facilities in others.


Prodware provide integrated software for the waste management and recycling industry, including the leading solution enwis)
For more information on Prodware, visit

And it’s not just about the financial overhead, we can apply the same logic to CO2 measures, allowing us to consider the impact of building a new energy from waste facility close to the waste producer(s) compared with transporting the waste to an existing facility we have already invested in.

Big Data technologies are, and will, continue to drive business and commerce in ways that maybe we cannot yet imagine. The question we should ask ourselves is, do we want to be a HMV or an Amazon?

Jason Fazackerley is solutions specialist at Prodware


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