TaKaDu: turning raw big data into knowledge

What’s the most precious resource known to man? Well, it has to water. A lack of water leads to famine, war and death. Water is so important that mankind has spent centuries trying to use technology to manipulate this precious resource; from Archimedes’ screw for drawing water uphill to Roman aqueducts, man has tried to better exploit the resource. Unfortunately the global population now stands at over 7 billion and demand for water continues to rise exponentially. The OECD predicts that demand is projected to increase by 50 per cent between 2000 and 2050, and that 40 per cent of the world’s population will by then be under water stress, yet according to the World Bank we lose 50 billion cubic metres of water a year through leaks and bursts. Obviously new and smarter technologies are needed to meet this insatiable demand.

This is a problem that TaKaDu has been addressing. Based in Yehud, Israel, TaKaDu has designed cloud-based big data analytics software to deal with this problem. TaKaDu’s big data analytics takes information gathered across the water network and works out how it is performing. The software processes data supplied by sensors and meters dotted around a water company’s supply network, and combines this with information such as domestic and industrial water usage patterns and weather, to build a sophisticated picture of how the network is behaving.

According to TaKaDu’s, Moshe Tamir, the company is turning raw data into knowledge:

“We built a very smart algorithm that can spot anomalies in the network’s behaviour, from a small leak to a burst water main, enabling water utilities to plan and react much faster than before. And when you save water you save energy.”

As evidence of the success of the software, Mr Tamir points to a Portuguese client who saved one million euros in 2012 after TaKaDu’s software helped it reduce water lost through leakage – known as non-revenue water (NRW) – from 25.2 to 17.2 per cent in a year:

“Our software can tell utilities where to concentrate their efforts and even identify meters that are less reliable than others,” he said.

In countries like India, water networks – where they exist at all – can be spread over wide areas. Data collection here often has to be done manually. Upgrading to meters that transmit big data wirelessly, powered by turbines inside the water pipes, could save millions of dollars, Tamir believes.