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Moving from Data Gathering to Improved Outcomes

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There’s so much data in the world. In fact, in 2018 there was 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created – per day. To put that into perspective, in the two years preceding 2018, 90% of the world’s data was produced.

The amount of  data  produced will continue to accelerate in the age of the Internet of Things – which now boasts around 50bn internet connected “things.”

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In industry, this data explosion is a good thing. It opens the capability for industrial enterprises to make all kinds of improvements to processes, products, productivity, efficiency, supply chains. Data can help us improve just about everything we do.


There’s Always A “But”

While all that data holds almost unfathomable potential, few enterprises right now can fully leverage it and realize its value.

Let’s use a tire maker for example. A big customer just released a new sports car in Europe. The specialty tires on this model require a precise supply chain that’s ready to meet incredibly high production rates if consumers fall in love with the car. Yet, the tire manufacturer can’t forget about standard production lines.

The ability to expand and maintain production based on consumer demand – that’s all a result of converging data from various systems, including Information Technology (IT) and Operations Technology (OT), and turning that data into knowledge to make better, real-time decisions. That’s where the value is generated.


Work In Unison, Not Isolation

If a company undertakes a single Industry 4.0 project, it will be much harder to realize value from that project because it’s an isolated experience. The value of data comes from contextualising that data so it’s more deeply understood and people can make decisions based on this source of truth, reducing risk and taking advantage of every opportunity to improve – in real-time.

This is where a digital transformation approach to modernisation is important. Implemented well, digital transformation takes a holistic approach to the benefits of new technology. This approach looks at:

How different departments and elements of the enterprise interface so data flows through the connected enterprise.

The human element in the enterprise. The new ways of thinking and working, the best methods for turning data into actionable insight requires an investment in, and training of, your workforce.

It is this kind of thinking, this change of approach, that drives the Connected Enterprise strategy of people, processes and technology.


Data Alone Is Not The Answer

Manufacturing executives need to develop, implement and drive operational excellence as part of a connected enterprise. The goal is to combine the best industrial automation with the latest digital technology. This pairing brings together data, systems and processes across an entire organization to provide decision-makers with relevant, reliable information.

That’s a connected enterprise, and it creates a more productive, efficient and nimble business.

Through access to a database of leading practices, methodologies, tools, training and analytics, we can help executives implement sustainable performance improvements – and as a result, employees know why improvements are needed, and what needs to be done, by when and by whom.

Data is great, but true performance improvement is delivered by people working with the right processes and the right training, enabled by the right technologies, to move from data gathering to better outcomes.

Mike Loughran
Mike Loughran
Chief Technology Officer UK & Ireland, Rockwell Automation
Mike has a passion for working with companies to help them unlock the benefits of digital manufacturing, and is the Connected Enterprise ambassador. Throughout his career, he has worked with both large and small manufacturing companies to advise and help set their automation strategy in order to help them achieve their productivity and sustainability goals through smarter use of technology.

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