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The Data Team Awards celebrates enterprise data teams’ essential role in helping businesses across sectors face their most pressing challenges. 

With more than 200 nominations submitted, the resulting finalists showcase impressive innovation in data and artificial intelligence. As we near the Data + AI Summit, Databricks is excited to share the success stories from all of our nominees. 

With the Transformation Award for 2024 — a distinguished honor designed to recognize teams that have gone above and beyond to transform their organizations through data and AI — we celebrate the architects of change pushing this transformation at an unprecedented scale. Reimagining the role of data within their enterprise teams, they leverage cutting-edge data and AI technologies to alter business models, workflows, and decision-making processes fundamentally. Their work embodies the essence of transformation, setting new paradigms for how data can drive strategic innovation, operational excellence, and competitive differentiation.

The 2024 Data Transformation Award shines a light on the remarkable journeys of these teams, showcasing how they have effectively turned data into a cornerstone of strategic advantage and organizational agility. 

Below are the finalists for 2024’s Data Team Transformation Award:


Banco de Crédito e Inversiones

Banco Bci, a leader in the Latin American financial sector, has always prioritized technological innovation to enhance customer experience. Yet, due to its large, distributed datasets, the bank needed a modern data platform to create personalized services for its customers. Bci built a modern, governed, and standardized data platform using Databricks which could facilitate the deployment of advanced analytics, AI initiatives, and new data assets across the organization. Bci’s data transformation has resulted in the personalized digital services and products they envisioned, including real-time transaction enrichment and customized loan models. Since Bci can leverage data in unprecedented ways, the bank has created a collaborative, innovative environment among its teams and taken a significant leap forward in operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness — translating to positive customer experiences across Latin America.


Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller

The Auditor-Controller (AC) of Los Angeles County — tasked with managing essential data for the county’s finances, personnel, payroll, budgets, and more — faced challenges due to fragmented and outdated data management solutions, hindering the efficiency and accessibility of data across its 41 departments. Recognizing this issue, the Los Angeles AC embarked on a new data and analytics initiative, by implementing Azure Databricks. This strategic choice provided a secure, scalable foundation for data ingestion, curation, and consumption, directly addressing the pain points of limited access, outdated information, and cumbersome manual processes. The integration of Databricks transformed data processes and enhanced the Los Angeles AC’s data capabilities with centralized data repositories, robust visualizations for executive decision-making, and streamlined the development of analytics tools. This profound transformation brought operational efficiencies, including real-time annual statistics reporting, vendor payment reporting, as well as comprehensive budget and expense reporting that previously required extensive manual effort and time. These efforts lay the groundwork for future expansions, including more data analysis and machine learning capabilities to benefit county employees and residents.


Mojang Studios 

At Mojang Studios, the transformation of Minecraft’s data management was both ambitious and revolutionary. Faced with the challenge of a disjointed array of data services, Mojang’s Data team looked to Azure Databricks, to enable them to deliver insights and data solutions at an unprecedented scale. With over 300 million copies sold, Minecraft is the best-selling game of all time. The scale of Minecraft requires a creative and sophisticated approach to enable data-driven insights. With Databricks, Mojang Studios leverages a diverse array of data to deliver information that results in the “leveling up” of decision-making. The tangible business outcomes of this transformation included a significant improvement in data science and analytics efficiency and a reduction in computing costs.  


U.S. DoD Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Office, Advana Program

Advana, the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD's) enterprise-wide, multi-domain data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) platform, provides military and civilian decision-makers, analysts, and builders with unprecedented access to enterprise tools and capabilities — all in a scalable, reliable, and secure environment. As part of the Chief Digital and AI Office (CDAO), Advana also hosts hundreds of curated applications providing analytics for over a dozen lines of business such as logistics, financial management, people, and health. Using one central platform with right-time data, tools, and other self-service products, Advana puts the power of data, analytics, and AI in the pocket of every DoD analyst and decision-maker. The platform makes data accessible, understandable, and useful to leaders, analysts, mission owners, and developers throughout the defense enterprise.


Virgin Australia Airlines

Virgin Australia Airlines' transition from an on-premises data warehouse to the cloud-based Databricks Data Intelligence Platform marked a substantial leap in its data strategy. The goal was to build a trusted, governed central data repository for organizational data, and enable improved collaboration, real-time reporting, data-driven decision-making, and self-serve data capability for analysts and operational reporting across the organization. By integrating Databricks' Unity Catalog for seamless data governance, Virgin Australia Airlines optimized its data querying and analytics practices, which streamlined data ingestion, analytics, and data science into one cohesive platform. Virgin Australia Airlines implemented new features, like the near-real-time Baggage Reconciliation System, enhancing operational efficiencies and customer experiences. Databricks adoption facilitated a 75% increase in real-time data availability, a 44% decrease in mishandled baggage, and a 25% revenue boost attributed to insights drawn from analytics. The transformative journey, underscored by a 90% faster deployment of machine learning models and significant improvements in analytical speed-to-insight, has propelled Virgin Australia Airlines forward in the market while pursuing a culture of data-driven operational excellence.


All Data Team Award finalists and winners will be honored during a ceremony at the Data + AI Summit on Tuesday, June 11, at 6:30 PM on the expo floor. Join us as we celebrate the achievements of these exceptional data teams together!

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