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(Reuters) — BMW has developed a data hub with Amazon’s cloud computing division, a sign of how companies are increasingly using big data to boost efficiency.

“We want to switch from gut-driven decisions to data-driven decisions,” BMW data transformation VP Kai Demtroder said. “We have a few hundred data scientists at BMW, but the aim is to make the data accessible to everyone.”

Demtroder said BMW’s “cloud data hub” proved its value when the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect auto production in the spring, as data from Amazon Web Services (AWS) enabled the German carmaker to see which supplier plants had problems.

“This was a clear case where we had all the data and we could use it immediately to respond to the crisis,” he said.

BMW and AWS have been working together since 2015 and have spent the last year and a half jointly developing the carmaker’s data hub.

Up to 5,000 BMW employees will also be trained to use AWS technologies to make better use of data.

The hub will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict consumer demand for BMW vehicles so the carmaker can order the right parts from suppliers, comply with regulations across different markets, and automatically check requirements needed to design new vehicles.

The global market for cloud storage services is expected to grow from $50.1 billion this year to $137.3 billion by 2025, according to market research firm MarketsandMarkets.

Last week, Canadian technology specialist BlackBerry and AWS said they had developed a cloud-based software platform designed to help automakers and suppliers standardize vehicle data.

(Reporting by Nick Carey, editing by Mark Potter.)

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