What your business can learn from the high-speed, data-laden world of Formula One

Anaplan roared into London’s Canary Wharf financial district recently for a Formula One-themed event hosted by Susie Wolff. Event participants had the chance to race the former Williams test driver in a state-of-the-art simulator and try to beat her lap time, with the top performers winning an F1 track day at Brands Hatch motor racing circuit.

The most popular form of motor racing in the world, Formula One (known as F1) had a total global television audience of 425 million people during the course of the 2014 season. F1 cars are the fastest road course racing cars in the world, driving at speeds of up to 360 km/h (220 mph). While Europe is the sport’s traditional base, and hosts about half of each year’s races, the sport’s scope has expanded significantly and an increasing number of Grands Prix are held on other continents, including the United States Grand Prix, in Austin, Texas.

A popular figure, Susie Wolff is a pioneer for women in motor sport. She entered F1 as a development driver for Williams, one of the sport’s most successful teams, holding the position for two seasons before being promoted to a test driver for the 2015 season. At the 2014 British Grand Prix, Susie made history when she became the first woman to take part in a F1 race weekend in 22 years.

Alongside Anaplan’s UK & Ireland Managing Director, Ian Stone, Susie gave an enthralling presentation. Invited professionals were able to take part in a discussion aimed at exploring how businesses can better harness data using the skills and tactics employed in F1 to gain a competitive edge.

The sheer volume of data generated by Formula One teams is immense: “For instance, the floor of the car, a part not even visible to us as spectators, has over 800 sensors, each feeding back data constantly to the race team,” Wolff shared. Being able to very quickly make sense of and engage with this volume of data is essential for teams to stay ahead of the competition. As a driver, Wolff needed instant access to important data, in an easily consumable format, in order to improve her performance.

“My only contact with the data was via my Data Engineer. In order to do my job well, the data was essential, but if I’d been exposed to the full database it would have been overwhelming. My Data Engineer funneled what I required, and allowed me to do what I do best, which is precisely the role Anaplan plays in business.”

Ian Stone adds, “Even the most cutting edge companies often still rely on spreadsheets to run their business. The problem with spreadsheets is that they aren’t naturally collaborative or connected, creating a fragmented view of the business, which is far from ideal when it comes to complex business planning. Anaplan is about satisfying the needs of the business to model and plan around large data volumes and a lot of complexity quickly and accurately.”

Stone continued, “Anaplan is an incredibility versatile technology that allow users to model virtually any business. Dozens of independent, ad-hoc systems can be replaced by a single platform. You just need a browser and internet access.”

To request a personal demo of Anaplan, get in touch with us.

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