The Year of Giant Ideas: MongoDB Innovation Award Winners 2016

Francesca Krihely


The annual MongoDB Innovation Awards recognizes those organizations and individuals that took a giant idea and made a tangible impact in the world.

This year, we received hundreds of nominations, across dozens of industries. The winning organizations were honored today at MongoDB World 2016 with an Innovation Award. You can see the full list here:

Center of Excellence, Financial Services: Barclays

Barclays is a transatlantic consumer, corporate and investment bank offering products and services across personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management. To replace three decades of relational databases in numerous use cases throughout the bank, Barclays built a Centre of Excellence for its non-relational database of choice: MongoDB. The CoE was created in a strategic partnership with MongoDB to help to drive adoption and define best practices across its global organisation. Barclays is already seeing increased agility, scalability, and cost-efficiencies from this transformative project.

Center of Excellence, Telecommunications: Comcast

Comcast Corporation, the largest broadcasting and cable company in the world, has been using MongoDB to improve revenue and increase customer satisfaction on applications such as its set-top box. To best take advantage of MongoDB, the company has also created an internal MongoDB database as a service to make it even simpler for developers and operations teams to migrate away from relational databases.


Customer Service: HMRC and Equal Experts

HM Revenue and Customs, the UK’s tax and customs authority, built a tax-platform-as-a-service using MongoDB’s scalability, agility and ease of development. This was put together with the support and expertise of software consultancy Equal Experts. HMRC has a network of more than 250 microservices which has transformed user experience for a whole host of tax and payment services. Developers have gone from two releases a year, to more than 50 a week.

Data-Driven Business: Prescient

Prescient is a global risk management firm that provides a range of enterprise-wide solutions, from due diligence and investigations to traveler safety dashboards and applications. The company’s traveler safety solution, Prescient Traveler, uses MongoDB to drive ‘infinite scale’ for its breakthrough technologies. Launched earlier this year, Prescient Traveler analyzes petabytes of data from more than 48,000 sources to protect business and leisure travelers. Using its existing connectors, MongoDB also works together with SAP HANA and Hadoop to assess where people and companies are vulnerable. The system is modeled on the company’s past performance in federal counterintelligence and national security programs.

Emerging Markets: cMapIT

cMapIT is using data to help Nigerians track social issues, understand the impact of governance, and fight corruption. This is being done with cMapIT's web application PolicyMapNG. Built on MongoDB the application opens up government data sets for instant download for analytics while there is API access to developers too to build their own application with the datasets. To also expand the use of the web mapping tool, which has more than 40,000 downloads, cMAP has opened its first tech hub to adapt the project to local use in different Nigerian Local communities.

Enterprise Startup: cyberGRID

To compete with enterprises such as Siemens, ABB and EnerNOC, cyberGRID has relied on MongoDB to restructure its offering to better service the electricity markets. The company’s main solution, cyberNOC, is a sophisticated IT system used by electricity retailers and grid operators to help them utilize demand response, distributed generation and storage flexibilities. By redesigning the database with MongoDB, cyberGRID can now offer data to its clients in real time. These structural improvements open up a much wider range of potential customers and makes the company one of the pioneers in using software technology on secondary reserve markets.

Enterprise Startup: Practice Fusion

Practice Fusion is the largest cloud-based connected health platform in the U.S., with over 30,000 healthcare practices using its services to manage patient records and coordinate care. As part of its commitment to connected healthcare, Practice Fusion implemented a novel Clinical Data Repository (CDR) using MongoDB. The CDR is designed for heavy read activity, assembling complex data structures such as patient records from multiple relational databases and packaging them as documents in MongoDB for efficient distribution. Practice Fusion’s CDR serves as a foundation for standards-based exchange of patient data between healthcare organizations.

Eye of the Tiger: YouGov

YouGov, one of the world’s leading market research organizations, migrated its mission critical survey platform to MongoDB 3.0 with WiredTiger. The team got a 70% reduction in storage capacity, improved performance and increased the pace YouGov could deliver services across multiple geographies into production.

Innovation in Retail: Weblib

Weblib’s Smart Wifi is a hotspot application that gives retailers relevant knowledge about their customers by allowing users to log into Wifi with their Facebook account. International brands such as UNIQLO, McDonald's and KFC use the service to offer customers a seamless way to receive relevant deals while shopping. The deals are individually adapted to each customer's profile. The Weblib team migrated from MySQL to MongoDB, dramatically reducing the access-time for data which makes the software more responsive for users. The new MongoDB system has 10 times more throughput per logical access.

Internet of Things: Florida Power & Light

Florida Power & Light Company is the third-largest electric utility in the United States, serving more than 4.8 million customers. To gain insight into its business FPL created the NextGrid analytics application. NextGrid takes data about field assets like AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure), substations, utility lines, fault current and lightning data – and uses MongoDB to connect them to an Apache Spark Data Lake for operational analytics. These operational analytics will allow for better allocation of resources to problems in the field, saving the company time and allowing them to serve their customers more effectively. This innovative use of MongoDB and Spark is giving Florida Power & Light an unprecedented view into their operation.

Launch Fast: DHL

DHL, a global market leader in logistics, built a single view of their application performance. By exposing log data with a search interface for analytics, DHL experienced a 66% reduction in cost due to lower hardware demands and elastic scaling on demand. Using MongoDB rapidly simplified the solution architecture compared with conventional technologies, and the monitoring and alert mechanism built with MongoDB Ops Manager resulted in a 30% reduction in overall effort for the operations team and third party support. DHL was able to go from prototype to production in weeks, and experienced an overall improved application quality of service, all by working with MongoDB.

Launch Fast: Mindspace

Mindspace built a next generation training application with the capacity to train hundreds of thousands of Starbucks Baristas, and is now being deployed to enrich employee engagement for the agency's other Fortune 100 clients. MongoDB allowed the company to innovate and build the platform in weeks, rather than months, and continually develop new features. The application, Fathom, is improving training engagement and helping employees get up to speed faster, proving how successful the combination of MongoDB and an unbridled approach to application development can be.

Mobile: Saavn

Saavn is a revolutionary music streaming service reinventing how people listen to and share music, in India and around the world. With its catalog spanning more than 75 languages, Saavn is the leading streaming music provider in India. MongoDB’s horizontal scalability, flexible schema and high availability have helped Saavn see tremendous growth over the last year, adding more than a million users a month. Saavn also uses MongoDB to store user cohorts and send highly targeted push notifications to it’s user base.

Internet of Things: AXA

AXA, one of the biggest insurance companies in the world, has been helping people for more than 30 years. The insurer’s Connected Home solution aggregates events from a number of different organizations and internet-of-things partners in France. The data is then used to help AXA to do three things for its customers: Prevent, Assist and Personalize. The project is powered by MongoDB, and AXA’s developers took advantage of the database’s flexible architecture to continually evolve their agile methodology and frameworks. The team was also able to migrate away from an on-premise model to cloud infrastructure running MongoDB.

Modern Enterprise Architecture:

One of the UK’s leading price comparison sites,, put MongoDB at the core of a microservices-based architecture that means developers can build better applications faster. Microservices support a growing proportion of the company’s comparison tools which currently include travel and home insurance alongside the Meerkat Movies 2-for-1 cinema campaign. The use of containers, microservices, Kafka, Hadoop and MongoDB has helped the comparethemarket team make technology a competitive differentiator.

OEM of the Year: Beet Analytics

Beet Analytics Technology creates solutions to help the automation systems industry simplify the complicated. Beet’s Process Visibility System, Envision, makes the machine process visible and measurable down to every motion and event. Built on MongoDB, Envision is able to precisely analyze manufacturing data pulled in from sensors in the production line to help improve the manufacturing process.

Open Source: Learning Locker

Learning Locker is the most installed Open Source Learning Record Store (LRS) in the world - a massively scalable data store designed specifically for the education and learning sector. Built on MongoDB, Learning Locker leverages the Aggregation Framework to enable custom dashboards to be built in real-time. Since its launch in 2014, Learning Locker has risen to become the defacto choice for major corporations, universities and schools. Learning Locker shows teachers and administrators in-depth insights into learner behavior while connecting with 3rd party tools, like predictive analytics engines and machine learning applications.

Partner of the Year: Infosys Technologies

Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and next-generation services, is one of the first services companies to adopt MongoDB and has been a huge advocate for its transformative power. Along with a number of joint customers, Infosys has also built joint solutions with MongoDB.

Securing the Enterprise: Swimlane

Swimlane is an automated security operations platform that enables organizations to automate their response to cyber security threats. Swimlane is used by the Fortune 500, US Federal Government and Managed Services Providers, helping them tackle the challenges of an ever increasing number of cyber security attacks, alert fatigue and the vast shortages of qualified cybersecurity professionals. By automating security operations and applying conditional workflow logic and algorithms, Swimlane helps organizations respond to more incidents, faster. Incident data is stored in MongoDB where Swimlane relies on an aggregation pipeline to run statistical analysis on the data to identify and react to threats in real time.

Social Impact: Oxford Nanopore Technologies

Oxford Nanopore Technologies built the MinION, a portable, real time, long-read, low cost device that has been designed to bring easy biological analyses to anyone, whether in scientific research, education or a range of real world applications such as disease/pathogen surveillance, environmental monitoring, food chain surveillance, self-quantification or even microgravity biology. This is supplemented by real time analysis solutions provided by Metrichor, designed to help people analyse living things over time in any environment or location. This speed is enabled by Oxford Nanopore’s MongoDB powered cloud deployment that lets scientists access its analyses anywhere in the world.

Startup Enterprise: Royal Bank of Scotland

Driven by the competing pressures of cost, agility and data quality, Royal Bank of Scotland used MongoDB to build an enterprise data service which is underpinning several core trading systems. Some of the incumbent enterprise application architectures had proven too complex, difficult to maintain and expensive. The team at RBS are transforming the way traditional banks imagine data management.

Startup Enterprise: UPS iParcel

The UPS i-parcel network provides retailers with a fully trackable cross-border service that can increase international online sales and improve customer experience. Global online shoppers benefit from a localized website and a portfolio of shipping options that balance speed and cost. To continue to innovate and adapt the service, the UPS i-parcel team rebuilt its operations platform on MongoDB. By migrating away from a relational database, UPS i-parcel dramatically improved the speed of development and reduced response time on its web and mobile properties by 90 percent.