Playing Games with Data

 
Lamborghini

Deriving useful information from data can seem like climbing everest. Most of the time the data is either in a place that seems impossible to get or there is so much of it that it’s pretty much useless. 

In this case study, read how Industrial Resolution created data visualizations from a video game, through our focus on custom software development, data analytics and system integrations.

Here’s the problem; while data can be useful how do you actually measure what matters?  Maybe a better question is; how do you know what matters? You might not know what you need unless you see it. We see data as something you need leverage to move.  Kind of like a wrench. Using your hands to loosen a tightened nut just doesn’t work, but with the right fit and leverage you can easily break it free. Elastic is like our wrench when it comes to data problems.  In fact, it's like a whole tool chest full of tools to gain an advantage over the data. 

For the 2019 Lancaster Chamber Expo we set out to illustrate this in a way that would that would be clear and engaging for the attendee that would have no context for what we do or even be thinking about a data problem.  It was a tall order!

 

Racing

 

Enter… Project Cars 2 (PC2).  Our CTO, Tyler Golden, came up with the idea of leveraging PC2 since it’s a highly accurate racing game that uses lots of real world information to create a more accurate driving experience.  It made a prime candidate for a data source, however this brought up the first challenge. We would need to create a mechanism to get the data out of the game and into the Elasticsearch cluster.  To accomplish this Tyler wrote an integration using C++ and C# that pulled data from PC2’s API and fed it to Elasticsearch for storage, analysis, and visualization. The second challenge was the amount of real time data that this game would generate, way more than we would really need for our visualization.  We needed to understand what data would be valuable to gain some actionable insights.  Using 1000’s of data points per second wouldn't be feasible when only needed a few hundred. Once the integration was complete and we defined what data we wanted to measure and why; it was a matter of setting up the real time dashboards - the fun part! Below is one of the views we created that updated in real time while a player was driving. Imagine having this level of visibility into your business processes!

 

Dashboard

 

Most business can think of a similar scenario.  Instead of a video game your data source could be industrial machinery, inventory management, corporate fleet, ERP, or CRM.  All these systems can create a massive amounts of data that could be valuable if properly leveraged and displayed. Some of them like the video game have visualizations in them, but there’s no way to customize the displays or correlate the data from multiple systems.  Using a tool like Elasticsearch enables our customers, like we did in Expo display, to gain leverage over the data and create useful insights.

 

Industrial Resolution at Expo

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