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The annual Databricks Data Team Awards recognize data teams who are harnessing the power of data and AI to deliver solutions for some of the world’s toughest problems.

Nearly 250 teams were nominated across six categories from all industries, regions, and companies - all with impressive stories about the work they are doing with data and AI. We are proud to recognize and celebrate 29 finalists who are driving innovation, transforming the way organizations operate, driving CoEs to deliver data across the business, contributing to open source projects, visionaries who are leading the way, and those team that are using data to make a positive impact on the world. It was hard to choose just 6 winners!

This year’s Data Team Award winners include, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Karius, Ophelos, T-Mobile, Toyota, and Walgreens. Hear how these organizations are using data in very different and unique ways to do incredible work.

Congratulations to the 2022 Data Team Award winners:

Data Team Transformation Award: Toyota

Toyota’s mission is to “continuously strive to transform the very nature of movement”. For the company to deliver on that promise, they are moving forward with an aggressive commitment to sustainability--not only by shifting their focus to electrified vehicles, but also changing how those vehicles are manufactured to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035. The data team at Toyota is using Databricks Lakehouse to help power this change, moving away from their legacy on premise data warehouse, to a cloud-based unified platform for data and AI. With the Lakehouse ingesting and standardizing petabytes of data, we are able to use machine learning and advanced analytics to analyze trillions of batch and real-time records to optimize manufacturing processes, predict energy demand, improve the utilization of renewable energy sources, and identify opportunities to further reduce the our carbon footprint. With the Lakehouse, Toyota is tackling the challenge of decarbonization head-on, while also solving a range of other problems-- from supply chain and revenue forecasting, to quality assurance-- to make sure that the company never stops moving while surpassing customers’ expectations.

Finalists: Compass, H&R Block, Providence, Samsung Electronics

Data Team Democratization Award: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been on the frontlines guiding communities, governments and healthcare workers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout this time, data and AI has played a critical role in helping to deliver fast insights across the U.S., helping to save lives. The Databricks Lakehouse has empowered the CDC’s to democratize data at massive scale — ingesting high volumes of all kinds of data on CDC’s Enterprise Analytics and Visualization (EDAV) platform. The lakehouse paradigm was implemented at CDC for COVID-19 vaccines data coming in from states and federal agencies (at a pace of 5+ million new records per day) and sharing vaccination and mortality rate metrics with cities, states, the White House and the general public so that they can make more informed decisions at local, regional and national level. These decisions included when to reopen businesses, enforce mask mandates, school closures, and more. Through the democratization of data and unification with analytics, they’ve been able to deliver on many more use cases to inform the people within the US of current health situations and provide the government and general public with actionable insights needed to ensure the highest levels of health within the US.

Finalists: Conde Nast, Corning, Sam's Club, The Gap

Data Team for Good Award: Karius

Karius has developed a liquid biopsy test for infectious diseases, using innovations across chemistry, data, and AI, to non-invasively detect over 1,000 pathogens from a single blood sample. The Karius Test, offered to hundreds of hospitals across the country, can help decrease the time and effort it takes clinicians to accurately diagnose an infection, without the need for an invasive diagnostic procedure or the application of slower, less-effective methods like a blood culture. To go beyond the diagnosis of an infection in a single patient, Karius is leveraging Databricks Lakehouse to unlock the promise of a new data type — microbial cell-free DNA — with AI to“see” patterns across infections, expanding from a few pathogens to the wider microbial landscape. The new capability allows Karius to identify novel biomarkers connecting microbes to opportunities across human health and disease. Furthermore, the organization has super-charged its biomarker discovery platform by developing a de-identified clinicogenomics database, which connects Karius molecular data to clinical data, empowering scientists, and physicians, to better interpret the patterns. Karius is now looking to apply its new data and AI capabilities beyond infectious disease, including opportunities across oncology, autoimmune disease, and response to therapy.

Finalists: Cognoa, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Regeneron Genetics Center, US DoD Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Office, ADVANA Program

Data Team Disruptor Award: Ophelos

Ophelos is using Databricks Lakehouse Platform to power its AI and machine learning efforts to disrupt the traditionally antiquated and hostile debt collection industry and turn it into one that’s compassionate, flexible, automated and preventative, via the Ophelos Debt Resolution Platform. The company created OLIVE (Ophelos Linguistic Identification of Vulnerability), a cutting-edge natural language processing (NLP) model that predicts the likelihood that a customer is vulnerable and identifies the possible causes. Ophelos is also addressing customer service efficiency and customer experience through the Ophelos Decision Engine, an ML-powered solution that automatically calculates the long-term effects of each action, and then creates bespoke communication strategies for each individual customer. All of this data is collected anonymously in a real-time analytics dashboard to ensure businesses truly understand their customers and how they can help.

Finalists: Grammarly, PicPay, Pumpjack Dataworks, Rivian Automotive

Data Team OSS Award: T-Mobile

T-Mobile’s mission is to build the nation’s best 5G network while reducing customer pain points every day. To meet the Un-carrier’s aggressive build plans and customer-focused goals, they embarked on a digital transformation — relying on their data to optimize back-office business processes, streamline network builds, mitigate fraud, and improve the overall experience for the enterprise’s business teams. At the heart of their data strategy is the lakehouse architecture and Delta Lake — democratizing access to data for BI and ML workloads at the speed of business. As valuable members of the Delta Lake community, they have been pushing the boundaries of Delta Lake to solve their toughest data problems by optimizing their procurement and supply chain process, ensuring billions of dollars of cell-site equipment is at the right place at the right time, to streamlining internal initiatives that better engage customers, save money and drive revenue.

Finalists: Apple, Back Market, Samba TV, Scribd

Data Team Visionary Award: Walgreens Boots Alliance - Luigi Guadagno

Luigi Guadagno, GVP, Pharmacy Healthcare Technology Platform, at Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) is the platform leader who has championed the company’s efforts to personalize pharmacy care using data and AI. Luigi, and the Walgreens data team, have guided the company through its cloud-first, data architecture modernization, so that they can now deliver real-time healthcare insights to pharmacists on the front lines, and ensure the right medications are always on shelves when patients need them across 9,000 locations. Core to WBA and the Pharmacy Healthcare Technology Platform team’s vision is the Databricks Lakehouse Platform, which ingests around 200,000 transactions per second while enabling all its users (e.g., engineers, data scientists, power users, and more) to understand, analyze and create insights at an unparalleled scale and speed. WBA can now activate its data to better understand how best to engage and communicate with patients, from sharing vital information about medications to providing guidance on their journey towards a healthier life. Under Luigi’s leadership, the WBA data team has saved millions of dollars from more efficient infrastructure, higher productivity and value from use cases including inventory optimization and Covid vaccination reporting.

Finalists: American Airlines - Poonam Mohan, Shell - Dan Jeavons, WarnerBros Discovery - Duan Peng

Let’s raise a glass

Check out the award finalists in the other five categories and come raise a glass and celebrate these amazing data teams during an award ceremony at the Data and AI Summit on June 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Expo Stage.

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