Gaining New Insights
from Data Lakes

Real-life success stories from big data pioneers.

Building a Data Lab

A data lab is an incubator for innovation that enables fast experimentation with massive amounts of data. This allows you to discover, manipulate, visualize, and iteratively model data, and explore it for its potential.

Data labs can scale seamlessly, giving you the freedom to collaborate as a team, share insights, and conduct further experimentation as and when you need to. Data labs help the analyst or business expert work as part of a team with the data scientist. One knows the business and the potential of the data; the other knows machine learning and algorithms, and how to apply them.

Read the case studies in this section to see how Oracle has helped organizations like yours:

  • Use simulation tools to experiment with petabytes of data

  • Improve disaster recovery thanks to lab-based simulations

  • Identify potential savings of more than US$156 million


CERN Tests Big-Data and Cloud Technologies in Support of its Ground-Breaking Physics Research

Established in 1954, CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) is the largest particle-physics laboratory in the world. Most famously, CERN is home to the Large Hadron Collider, the most powerful particle accelerator in existence.

CERN uses big data, cloud computing, and analytics to help researchers unravel the mysteries of the universe, one petabyte at a time. CERN has been a long-term user of Oracle solutions, such as Oracle Database, since version 2.3. Since 2003, CERN and Oracle have also partnered to drive innovation in ICT through CERN openlab.


The Large Hadron Collider is one of the most complex machines ever built. In addition to the petabytes of physics data it produces by smashing particles together at close to the speed of light, its control systems produce vast quantities of systems-monitoring information. Analyzing these data streams—and extracting key insights—is vital in making sure researchers at the laboratory are able to continue pushing back the frontiers of our knowledge about the universe.


CERN has begun work with Oracle Big Data Discovery, exploring ways the organization can efficiently and intelligently analyze the technical engineering information derived from around one million signals originating from its accelerator complex.

Using the reliability and simulation tools that are built into the Oracle Big Data Discovery platform, the CERN team is able to correlate fault conditions related to electricity consumption, power conversion, water usage, and cryogenics. This helps to improve efficiency.

Oracle Database Cloud is also being tested through CERN openlab, to see how it can be used as a disaster—recovery solution. The CERN team is building machine—learning models to predict potential failures. These models use R (open-source distribution) and run in Oracle Database.

NHS Targets Potential Savings of up to
~US$1 Billion Using Advanced Analytics

The UK National Health Service (NHS) is the largest and oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world. It provides healthcare to every legal resident in the United Kingdom, and free emergency treatment for everyone, including visitors.

The NHS Business Authority, which provides business support services under contract to the NHS, consolidated its data and applied sophisticated analytics to improve the cost-effectiveness of NHS treatments – saving about £581 million (~US$813m) in just three years, a figure which is still due to rise.


The NHS was collecting a vast amount of data that had the potential to improve the course of treatment for a variety of life-threatening diseases. But with so much data to process, turning it into actionable insight presented a significant challenge.


The NHS Business Services Authority used Oracle Exadata Database Machine to collect, store and analyze billions of data points relating to healthcare providers, patients, and the effectiveness of various prescriptions and treatments.

As well as providing the ability to process data quickly, the Oracle solution came equipped with a strong set of analytics tools, some which used machine learning to generate insights.

With these new capabilities, the NHS was able to explore new findings graphically and make widereaching improvements to processes, from curbing instances of excessive prescribing to contributing treatment recommendations to the national cancer registry. Overall, the NHS is predicted to save up to US$1 billion.

The NHS BSA moved some of its business intelligence applications to Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service last April, and it’s exploring an eventual move to Oracle Analytics Cloud for even more analytics functions. The agency is also considering moving its on-premises databases to the cloud.

Within the first six months that the team had identified £100 million worth of savings, and it’s now gone on to over £700 million of potential savings.

Nina Monckton

NHS Business Services

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