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CRU contributes to a cleaner commodities market using Decision Intelligence and prescriptive analytics

Author : Will Blake, CRU

21 November 2022

CRU, a global provider of business intelligence and consulting services for the global metals, mining and fertiliser industries, is using prescriptive analytics and Decision Intelligence from Pyramid Analytics (Pyramid) to revolutionise how the sector manages its carbon emissions.

Will Blake, Chief Technology Officer at CRU, recently took the stage at Big Data LDN, the UK’s leading Data and Analytics event, to showcase how CRU uses prescriptive analytics and Decision Intelligence. 

Blake explained how CRU uses the Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform in its data analytics pipelines, better-equipping customers to tackle key decisions within the commodity markets, especially the difficult challenges created by carbon emissions. 

He was joined on stage by Avi Perez, The Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder of Pyramid Analytics.

Key points:
• CRU’s business model relies on blending data from thousands of different sources, analysing it, and creating insights clients can use to make short and long-term investment decisions

• Pyramid customers benefit from Pyramid’s ‘Data Factory for Decisions’ – Pyramid’s all-in-one approach to taking raw data from initial analysis through to consumption and democratised access

• Carbon emissions are a growing challenge for the commodities market; the steel industry produces approximately eight percent of worldwide carbon emissions

• Using the Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform for prescriptive analytics, CRU provided its clients with a Carbon Emissions Data Tool, helping them calculate and visualise the carbon emissions for more than 4,000 commodity-producing assets globally

• ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) is a major factor in company performance in 2022: Oxford University research found 80 percent businesses experienced positive stock price performance with good sustainability practices

• Missed the Pyramid team at Big Data LDN? Click here to schedule a demo of the Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform.

Over the last 20 years, CRU has transformed from a traditional publishing company reliant on written reports to a data business helping people make better decisions within the commodities industry.

CRU restructured its approach to analytics, adopting the Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform, and phasing out data siloes and the multiple tools required to manage, cleanse and integrate disparate data. This was particularly essential for the complex data sets managed by CRU, with thousands of data sources gathering a myriad of different data types including PDF and Excel spreadsheets.

Decision Intelligence is founded on the principle of helping anyone secure data-driven insights to make faster, more intelligent decisions. CRU puts this principle into action for clients, running analysis on the nearly five million data points in its platform from mines, smelteries, and refineries worldwide. These up-to-date insights help businesses make more informed investment decisions in the ever-changing commodities market. 

As CRU has continued to look for ways to deepen its services portfolio, the Carbon Emissions Data Tool was developed. This service provides clients with a powerful and accessible tool to benchmark and visualise the carbon emissions for more than 4,000 commodity-producing assets globally. 

They are then able to use these insights to make better strategic decisions on the management and reduction of their carbon emissions.

Investors view ESG as a key marker of company performance. Oxford University research found 80 percent of businesses experienced positive stock price performance with good sustainability practices. 

ESG is widely seen as an investment in a company’s future, helping with talent attraction, operational performance, and winning over customers and partners.

A new frontier for analytics
The Data Factory for Decisions is Pyramid’s all-in-one vision for analytics, taking raw data from initial cleansing and sorting through to consumption and democratisation. 

Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform innovations include prioritising data science (DS) and machine learning (ML) in the early stages of data exploration rather than tagging them on at the end.

By starting with DS and ML, organisations can train their models on millions of rows of data, setting the stage for layering on descriptive, predictive, and ultimately prescriptive analytics. 

By bringing the last prescriptive step into the same platform, rather than continuing to leave it in Excel as many in the industry do, the analysis is elevated to help organisations start to drive better decision-making. 

The Pyramid Decision Intelligence Platform delivers data-driven insights for anyone to make faster, more intelligent decisions. The Pyramid Platform provides instant access to any data, enables automated governed self-service for any person, and serves any analytics need, from the simple to the sophisticated. 

By uniquely combining Data Prep, Business Analytics, and Data Science with AI guidance in a single environment, the Pyramid Platform reduces cost and complexity while accelerating growth and innovation.

“This enables a strategic, organisation-wide approach to Business Intelligence and Analytics.
Will Blake, Chief Technology Officer, CRU, said: “In a constantly evolving market, CRU relies on being at the cutting edge. Customers want data-driven insights, helping them to understand key trends in the market and make informed decisions.

“Decision Intelligence and prescriptive analytics help us to achieve that goal, supporting clients to better understand the commodities landscape and model key variables, from costs of production to carbon emissions, that drive investment decisions every day. 

“Our customers, more than most, rely on decisions being made five, 10, and even 20 years in advance. Prescriptive analytics lets us provide them with both forecasts looking this far ahead, and given this information, insights on the optimal course of action. 

“As we continue to evolve our technology stack, Pyramid will be essential for us to optimise our data pipeline of millions of data points and continue to elevate the service we offer to our clients.”

Avi Perez, Chief Technology Offer, and Co-founder, Pyramid Analytics: “The team at CRU are testament to the ability of Decision Intelligence and prescriptive analytics to truly transform outcomes for businesses. 

“I believe that prescriptive analytics is the ultimate frontier for analytics. Too many businesses still have outdated approaches to data analytics, missing opportunities to use data to optimise their operations and doing so in a way that is accessible to as many people as possible. 

“Data analytics is so much more than a way to understand basic facts about your data like ‘Top 10 customers’. The next level is to explore why they are your top 10 customers, and crucially, what steps you need to take to keep them there.” 

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