Data is a key building block of a successful digital transformation strategy. It is a vital enabler to either optimize the efficiency of manufacturers’ value chains or to develop new data-driven business models.
But, data as such and by itself is not a value driver. In fact, many industrial manufacturers today are not challenged by a lack of data but too much data, which has been captured, for example, from production machines and tools in operations or maintenance, and repair data that is kept in service and support applications. Manufacturers across the globe are challenged by the sheer amount of data, which is already stored and available, but for the majority of which they have no use or do not know that it even exists or how to use it. And, the amount of data being captured is set to increase exponentially due to products increasingly and rapidly becoming connected, thereby providing ever more data from field operations. So, when talking about data, it is not only about capturing it and making it accessible. This is important, yes, but it is definitely more a question of how to gain value from all this data and monetize it. The big potential of data comes from applying intelligence to it, by leveraging big data analytics, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, etc. in order to transform data into insights.