Smart Industry Data

Fact or Myth: Smart Industry Requires Lots of Data

9 October 2020

Smart Industry

The Big Data trend several years back was interpreted by many as a plea to store as much data as possible, as a precondition for doing big things. Unfortunately, that isn't how it works. The quantity of the data is not nearly as important as quality and usefulness.

It's true that data can act as a lever to achieve your business objectives. Always start with a business case that you believe has value.

What can your data do for you?

Simon Sinek sums it up nicely: always start with the why. Why do you feel a need to collect more data? What problems do you want it to solve? What corporate objectives are these linked to? Your answers to these questions will clarify which data and which data strategy you actually need.

The automotive industry can help to illustrate this. Every manufacturer collects huge quantities of data, both during production and from the finished product and driver (through apps). This data can serve various purposes:

  • Improved production
  • Product innovation
  • Personalized services for the driver
  • Value of the data in and of itself

Various applications can help make production more efficient. For example, a learning algorithm (machine learning) can enable automated quality control. Product innovation leads to ever-better and ultimately, self-driving cars. A digital assistant within the car can support the driver through suggestions based on their actual driving behavior and habits. McKinsey and Co. researchers estimate that the market for vehicle data will be worth $750 billion annually by 2030. For example, data can be used to generate high data density maps, showing anything from average increases in traffic speed to the whereabouts of potential hazards on the road.

Take a both/and approach

This is a great time for data from a technological point of view. Relatively inexpensive sensors can do the capturing, and the cloud offers all the flexible storage space and computing power you need to gain insights from the data. New technologies, such as Digital Twin, offer novel opportunities to produce insights based on current data sources. An existing CAD model or 2D design can suffice to create a digital copy of your plant.

As stated in our Digital Flow vision, you will create the most value by paying attention to both ends of a spectrum. In addition to data's purely technological side, it is also important not to ignore the 'softer' aspects. Who is responsible for what data at your company? Who will ultimately determine the truth of the matter if two data sources prove contradictory? In other words, who will help ensure the quality of the data within your organization? A data-driven approach requires a data-driven mindset, requiring the right human skillset and standardized methods in its turn.

Start small and focus on value

Such a mindset requires time and resources. That means you should start small, with just one use case of genuine business value. Data-based insights can help to increase output, improve productivity, optimize the use of assets and deliver higher quality.

Always strive for scalability to deliver Proof of Value (PoV) and build sufficient confidence to roll out Smart Industry across the company.

This blog is the third in a series where we discuss the myths and facts about the digital transformation in the industrial sector. The first three myths have already been dispelled. Discover which myths or facts will bite the dust in the coming weeks.

Also read:

Leverage Our Knowledge and Expertise to Accelerate Your Progress

If you find yourself stalling out, this may well be due to lack of time or resources. When you team up with a technology partner, you gain a partner in crime. We roll up our sleeves, dive into your ecosystem, take a step-by-step approach and continually inspire you with new ideas. With our pragmatic approach, we set you on your way to embracing a true Smart Industry approach.

Discover all our blogs
Read more

Subscribe and receive our blogs in your mailbox

Sign up for our newsletter

Would you like to receive our newsletter and stay informed about your preferred topics? 

Sign up here