Data-driven innovation at Scania

Data-driven innovation at Scania

Data collection is vital for data-driven innovation. That’s the opinion of Staffan Vildelin, Head of Information Management at Scania IT. Data science is helping to create brand new values both for Scania’s customers and internally at Scania.

“The ability to process information is a matter of survival for Scania. Thanks to data science we are able to identify previously unknown patterns and get answers to questions that are pivotal to Scania’s continued competitiveness,” says Staffan.

Development of Scania IT’s Information Management team began last spring. According to Pontus Hellgren, an assignment manager for Scania Data Lake, the team’s startup mentality has proved to be an advantage.

“The objective for Scania’s innovation curve is always to point upwards. Verifying a concept by analysing data that is needed to make the innovation a success must be a quick and simple process. If we get stuck in a rut and continue using traditional procedures, then before long we’ll be out of the picture.”

Scania is establishing Scania Data Lake to collect data, for example information from connected vehicles, sales, production and maintenance.

“Data Lake’s primary objective is to serve as a reservoir for collected data, and to carry out advanced analyses and calculations. The same technology is used by other companies, but Scania Data Lake has been built specifically for our activities,” says IT architect Hany Kattow.

Data science means that Scania, in collaboration with customers, can collect and use information to optimise flows of goods and people, for example, or to predict when a vehicle’s components are on the way out.

“By processing and analysing large amounts of data, we stay one step ahead. Scania currently has over 200,000 connected vehicles, and this is what our future activities will be based on. The information is used to influence existing deals and to create new business opportunities,” explains Staffan.

Digitalisation is vital for a leading company

CEO Henrik Henriksson has high hopes for Scania. The objective is for the company to be a leading supplier of sustainable transport solutions. In order to generate more efficient and sustainable transport flows, Scania needs to be at the forefront of digitisation.

“With data we create understanding of the parameters that influence fuel consumption, for example. This information then contributes to the development of quick and smart solutions. It has an impact on the entire supply chain and boosts our competitiveness,” says Pontus.

By adopting a cross-functional approach, the Information Management team is working with all processes within Scania.

“The entire business benefits from data science, from production to finance. It is incredibly stimulating to work so closely with Scania’s various business areas and to create value both by supporting the individuals who work with data science and helping those who aren’t quite there yet,” says Henrik Brandin, an assignment manager for Scania Data Lake.

Information gathering comes naturally to Scania, but the company still needs to improve in this area. Competition is tough, but there are great opportunities for remaining the market leader, thanks mainly to extensive access to data from connected vehicles.

“We require new expertise and are working to recruit new employees. Our approach, which is “Dare to try – Manage the risk as you go”, goes hand in hand with everything we are doing here. It demands courage, a supportive operation, and data science expertise,” concludes Staffan.

About Scania IT

Scania IT is the Group’s IT function, which works on everything from day-to-day operation to development of intelligent IT solutions. Scania IT employs 1,500 people around the world, with most working at the head office in Södertälje.

Text: Anna Bjur