Informationweek just awarded Merck one of its Elite 100 Business Innovation Awards. The company won for its use of big data analytics and cloud computing to improve vaccine manufacturing. Sources of vaccineyield loss were analyzed, using data collected from process historian and maintenance systems on the manufacturing plant floor. A team led byJerry Megaro, Merck's director of manufacturing advanced analytics and innovation, used cloud-based Hadoop and other software tools to aggregate and analyze the huge amount of data involved. Their efforts ultimately traced yield loss to the final purification step. For an interesting report on the project by InformationWeek's Executive Editor Doug Henschen, read the original source. Use of big data reportedly allowed Merck to go through 15 billion calculations and make over 5.5 million bath-to-batch comparisons.