Stay organized with collections Save and categorize content based on your preferences.

SQM enhances data-driven decision-making supported by Google Cloud and Zenta

About SQM

SQM, a northern Chile-based global corporation, is present in strategic industries for sustainable development, such as healthcare, food, technology and clean energy. It’s a world leader in its five business lines: Specialty Plant Nutrition, Iodine, Lithium, Potassium, and Thermo-Solar Salts.

Industries: Energy, Chemicals & Utilities
Location: Chile

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Zenta

Zenta is a software development company and IT consultancy with 15-plus years’ market experience in data analytics and machine learning expertise.

Using cloud solutions, SQM achieved near real-time enterprise management reporting, with increased data packaging capabilities and more flexible data transfers.

Google Cloud results

  • More agile, efficient data transfers to the cloud
  • Improved query times and reduced downtime
  • Fast, efficient reporting and data model deployment

Improved company data availability

With more than 55 years of history and a major international presence, northern Chile-based mining company SQM has always stood out for its innovation and development prowess.

Present in strategic industries for sustainable development, such as healthcare, food, technology, and clean energy, the company has over 9,000 internal and external employees, and it exports its products to more than 110 countries. Everywhere it operates, SQM stands out for continuously adapting to the market and to its customers’ various needs.

In 2020, the company’s reinvention and innovation journey led it to seek artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to take its data management and analytics to the next level.

"The digital transformation process is essential in our quest for excellence and continuous improvement. We believe changing and challenging the way we work is crucial, which is why we think data will help us take the next step in the industry."

Pablo Alcayaga, Head of Analytics & Digital, SQM

Large infrastructure, a big challenge

Before adopting Google Cloud’s solutions, SQM faced the challenge of increasing the availability of operational and IT data, which were growing in volume as the company’s business expanded.

Consequently, besides optimizing operations and supporting a better decision-making process, improving data availability online provided an additional benefit: developing a resilient data platform to increase user productivity.

To achieve that, SQM needed to overcome two obstacles related to its size. The first was streamlining connectivity in a network with specific traits and a particular way to communicate. As pointed out by Pablo Alcayaga, "that was a major infrastructure challenge."

The other hurdle was the large volume of data generated, which transformed into a massive load flowing through a single channel: the company’s on-premise database.

After discovering the potential of Google Cloud’s solutions, SQM chose Zenta, a Google partner, as its IT provider to address these challenges and to guide it through the data innovation, management, and analytics process in the cloud.

"The solution we helped implement is a great match for the situations at SQM’s plants and for the data processing and pressure now handled in the cloud."

Juan Francisco Maldonado León, CTO, Zenta

A more efficient data journey to the cloud

In late 2021, SQM found out about Datastream at a Google Cloud event and realized this was exactly the solution it needed.

Supported by Google Cloud and Zenta, the company began testing a beta version of the platform and pioneered its adoption in Chile.

The tool was highly efficient at tackling SQM’s challenges. By transferring data from on-premise sources to the cloud using streaming, the company was able to centralize information and handle data growth on its own.

That process was also supported by solutions such as Dataflow and BigQuery, which helped SQM streamline data concentration and analytics; Looker Studio, which provided resources to leverage the data and generate reports; App Engine and Compute Engine, which were also essential for improving query times and reducing downtime.

As a result, the solution was implemented as a hybrid structure to process and stream data, which perfectly adapted to the company’s varied ecosystem of on-prem software and products and PaaS services.

Google Cloud supported SQM with data extraction and ingestion to improve the analytics experience and system transactionality, resulting in an agile platform for implementing data models and data exploratory analytics projects and initiatives quickly and efficiently.

Data driving better decisions

Data initiatives became significantly more agile, turning technology into a major business enabler as it allowed the company to improve reporting and log analytics for business purposes, thanks to the on-prem database’s increased agility.

Supported by several cloud tools, SQM fulfilled the goals it had set at the beginning of the process.

Using Datastream, it solved the root cause of a problem with data queries to its systems by deploying a data streaming solution with a tolerable time window for those queries.

The solution also proved essential for streamlining decision-making, improving operations through the availability of data to calculate KPIs. Moreover, users now have dashboards with good update frequency rates.

BigQuery played a significant role in this process, as it helps users run queries with improved performance, and more importantly, no downtime. Other benefits from this tool are its ease of use and its familiar language, so that conclusions can be reached as quickly as possible.

"Google Cloud provided us with technology that lays the foundation for future solutions requiring data streaming. Thanks to our successful results, we are on the lookout for feature and product launches so we can add them to our suite of corporate data integration tools."

Jorge Utreras, Head of Projects, Analytics & Digital Department, SQM

A solid foundation for taking on new challenges

Based on the results SQM has already achieved, the firm wants to continue increasing data availability for its users so they can make decisions more confidently. Two key factors to achieve this goal are data democratization and access for people without expertise in the solution.

Other goals are taking the solution to other lines of business and adding descriptive analytics tools to expand its service.

Lastly, based on its commitment to communities and the environment, SQM also aims for all its products to become carbon neutral by 2030. Google Cloud’s technology will undoubtedly play a central role in that strategy, as it will provide SQM with the information it needs to detect patterns in productive processes and reach its goal.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About SQM

SQM, a northern Chile-based global corporation, is present in strategic industries for sustainable development, such as healthcare, food, technology and clean energy. It’s a world leader in its five business lines: Specialty Plant Nutrition, Iodine, Lithium, Potassium, and Thermo-Solar Salts.

Industries: Energy, Chemicals & Utilities
Location: Chile

About Zenta

Zenta is a software development company and IT consultancy with 15-plus years’ market experience in data analytics and machine learning expertise.