News Feature | May 13, 2014

Leveraging Big Data In Manufacturing Predicted To Become "Price Of Entry"

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Leveraging Big Data

Analysts predict that the global market for Big Data in manufacturing will experience significant growth within the next several years. The wealth of information contained in Big Data holds vast potential to deliver better productivity to manufactures. VARs can meet the needs of their clients in this regard by providing services that support what the report by Market Research Reports describes as “in-depth real time analysis of large datasets produced internally and externally for deep insight and quick decision making.”

An article in Ivey Business Journal by Tim McGuire of McKinsey & Company, Toronto, and James Manyika and Michael Chui of McKinsey Global Institute, San Francisco, reports how some early adopters are leveraging Big Data. For example, some manufacturers are “using data from sensors embedded in products from children’s toys to industrial goods to determine how these products are actually used in the real world. Such knowledge then leads to the creation of new service offerings and the design of future products.” Solutions providers can provide their manufacturing customers with the tools to capitalize on Big Data opportunities. The article, “Why Big Data is the New Competitive Advantage,” lists ways for manufacturers to leverage Big Data, including making information accessible and searchable, tailoring products to specific customer groups, developing next-generation products.

Analyzing data is also a step toward making better management decisions. According to Harshad Khatri of Oracle, focusing on the “‘four Vs — volume, velocity, variability, and volatility, …  is the key to business value, as it gives decision makers access to meaningful analysis and discovery.” He points out analyzing Big Data cannot be approached in a one-size-fits-all manner, but must be tailored to each individual company in order to receive the maximum benefit. Khatri says, “Today, a handful of companies are leveraging big data for competitive advantage. In a few years, this is expected to be a price of entry.”