I was presenting to some customers recently about working with big data, and the main points were threefold: 1) You need to collect the right data, 2) You need to have a strategy to manage that data and 3) You need to have ways to visualize and analyze that data so that it has an impact on your business. That’s the journey.

But one of the customers told me he was on the journey at roughly Step 2; he has the data stored but isn’t doing anything with it. His company has no way to visualize or analyze the data so it sits there idle without offering any insights into improvements.

This seems to be a common theme among many customers I talk to; they are doing a great job of collecting and storing data but they are not getting the value from the data to move their business forward. In essence, they’re not leveraging the power (or the possibilities) of big data to improve their business. Some don’t even realize it because they just continue doing what they’ve always done, not knowing there’s a lot more insight in their data to guide them.

So what’s stopping them from moving to Step 3? Perhaps they don’t know what they don’t know…

Well, imagine a world where you could easily gain complete visibility into your operations and correlate all the complex relationships between your data. What if you could drill down into your data, slice and dice it any which way you want, and get answers to questions that could significantly impact your business decisions, such as:

• How much waste am I generating on the line?

• Which sites, machines, products, teams, etc. are the top 10 or bottom 10 on which KPIs?

• What are our improvement areas on waste reduction, energy consumption, emissions?

• What is the level of waste generated by shift, by crew and by product?

Questions like these used to be too difficult to answer because there wasn’t a way to gain that type of visibility. Yet with today’s technology solutions powered by the Industrial Internet, such as those that deliver Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence, you can gain context to your data to answer these key questions and more. And this means you’ll know exactly where to take action so you can run your plants at optimized capacity, drive maximum throughput and minimize waste, deliver best-in-class OEE rates, and more.

That’s the power of big data. And this is not a future thing—it’s possible today. Forward-looking companies every day are starting to leverage the technologies available so they can clearly see and zero-in on improvement opportunities in their operations, enabling them to take action where it matters most. It’s these manufacturers that are making data truly work for them to transform their businesses and likely become the fiercest competitors in the market.

And it’s as simple as moving from Step 2 to Step 3. Are you ready to leverage your big data?

- See more at: http://www.geautomation.com/blog/what-your-big-data-really-telling-you#s...

About the author

Paul Adams

Project Manager

Paul has spent more than 20 years in manufacturing with GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, focusing on product development. His deep industry experience comes from countless calls, meetings and visits to manufacturers around the globe to help solve their business challenges. Today, he works in Global Professional Services, which allows him to continue working with GE’s manufacturing customers at a more downstream function. Wonder what challenges he’s helping manufacturers solve today? Connect with Paul on LinkedIn.

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