From data deluge to knowledge

The Tampere-based Quva Oy has made a business out of analysing big data.

The company’s product is a proactive alarm system which monitors the industrial flow of data.

“Our system combs the data for deviations and gives an advance warning when necessary. When operators or a company’s management become aware of such deviations immediately, they have time to react before the emergence of major problems,” says the Quva’s Managing Director Emil Ackerman.

Companies in the industrial sector, in particular, gather enormous amounts of data in their processes, but often this data is scattered around various information systems. When processes do experience problems, finding accurate and real-time data may be laborious or even impossible.

True to its name, big data is big, and separating the relevant from the trivial is a challenging task. Everything accumulates data, but data is not yet knowledge.

Agile testing

Quva’s product is configured customer-specifically, and roll-out, with its testing periods, is implemented as an agile project.

This way, a company quickly gains an understanding of whether the product is of use to them.

“Of course, companies need to think hard about what it is they want to glean out of their processes clearly and fast.”

Quva then installs for the customer in question an optimised and scalable alarm system—in accordance with its customer promise, in a month, followed up by a two-month test period.

“In this time, the customer is able to assess whether our system is suitable for analysing their data and the kinds of benefits they can expect in routine use.”

According to Ackerman, agility is nowadays a worthwhile option, given that, in many respects, lengthy projects represent the past.

“Technological advancement has made data analytics, for example, fairly inexpensive, because the systems do not need to be huge. And it’s worth remembering, in both the forest industry and the process industry in general, the kinds of costs you’re dealing with if you suffer from poor quality and recurring complaints due to shortcomings in the analytics. Not to mention the cost of a break in production caused by the gathering and analysis of process data.”

The growth ambitions of Quva, a finalist in last year’s Kasvu Open competition, are big. At the moment, Quva’s product is used by some ten industrial facilities around the world. The five-year goal is to have the company’s alarm system in use in more than one thousand facilities around the world.

“Of course, we are still at the beginning and we’re still small. But there is demand for this, and we want to respond to that demand,” says Ackerman.

Quva Oy

  • Established: 2010
  • Staff: 11
  • Net sales: EUR 0.5 million (2016)
  • Product: The Quva® Flow SaaS service, a scalable ­proactive alarm system for industrial big data
  • Potential customers: paper, pulp, paperboard and steel producers, as well as other industries of continuous ­production.

Text by Jaakko Liikanen
Photos by Quva Oy

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