Defined by Gartner in 2001, big data is “high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation.”
Big data. It’s a buzzword that sparks many conversations, especially in manufacturing where big data can take a company from predictive decision making to prescriptive decision making if done right.
It’s a lot to take in, right? But, when understood, big data can be extremely useful, especially when paired with big analytics. Big data is applicable in every industry – healthcare, financial, retail, and what we’re most interested in, big data in manufacturing. It’s the big picture of what is happening with data in that industry. When used correctly, it can provide valuable insights.
What is Big Data in Manufacturing?
Manufacturers use a variety of manufacturing software within their company, but there is often not an easy way to tie the solutions together to get a big picture of how a factory floor is running.
Think about the different types of manufacturing software – ERP, MES, CMMS, manufacturing analytics – there are many options, and when integrated via big data in manufacturing, patterns can be found, and problems can be solved.
What are the Types of Big Data Used in Manufacturing?
The idea behind big data is that it encompasses the bigger picture of all the data collected. Sensor, quality, maintenance, and design data can be combined to observe patterns and pull information out of that to make thoughtful decisions.
Big data in manufacturing can include productivity data on the amount of product you’re making to all the different measurements you must take for a quality check. It can include how much power consumption a machine has, or the amount of water, or the air required for the machine to run.
Big data is everywhere.
Where Do Manufacturers Generate Big Data?
Big data in manufacturing is generated from other software machines such as assets like pumps, motors, compressors, or conveyers. It’s even produced from outside partners, vendors, or customers. The most important thing to remember is that big data is everywhere. If data is produced, it can feed into the larger concept of big data.
How Can Manufacturers Benefit from Data Analytics?
It goes without saying, big data in manufacturing generates a lot of data. Without analysis, the data doesn’t mean anything. In order to benefit from the data collected, data visualization needs to be leveraged and insights need to be gained. The process of analyzing information is valuable, not only for decision making but for your company’s bottom line.
With data analytics, your company can:
- Improve manufacturing
- Customize product design
- Ensure better quality assurance
- Manage the supply chain
- Evaluate for any potential risk
Who is Using Big Data Analytics in Manufacturing Now?
Oil and gas companies, refineries, chemical producers, and big car manufacturers are all examples of manufacturers using big data analytics. Essentially, anyone in the process industry is using analytics to make data-driven decisions.
It should go without saying that all SensrTrx customers are also using big data analytics with sensors, dashboards, and scoreboards. But as the industry continues to grow, even with the midsize companies, big data analytics is starting to get utilized more and more.
Think of big data analytics as what ties everything together. If you’re only looking at the big picture, you won’t discover any big insights, but with analytics, you can determine how and why your processes are functioning as they are. Analytics is necessary to determine how companies, and your company specifically, are growing.
The benefits of big data in manufacturing and analytics can make a monumental difference in company growth, if used right.