Predictive Analytics and the 21st Century Shop Floor

Predictive analytics is enjoying increased adoption as data volumes increase and as implementation costs come down. While many of the popular applications of this technology seem to focus on management and marketing challenges like reducing customer attrition, driving cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and fraud analysis, it is interesting to see more operational application of the technology. The fact of the matter is that more pervasive application of predicative represents an analytics mega-trend that will define the leading edge of enterprise analytics in the early 21st century.

Just finished an incredibly insightful article on how Predictive Analysis is driving new efficiencies in plant production environments. We all know that predictive analytics adoption is accelerating. It is no longer enough to collect, organize, and present historical data that tells us how the organization is performing relative to its goals. While a complete and accurate picture of our products, people, and financial performance is as important as ever, it fails in its ability to tell us what is likely to happen next. Data mining and predictive have offered us the promise of such insight, but was inaccessible to most organizations due to cost and complexity.

At the same time, our ability to capture multi-variant data points in high volume is exponentially increasing, providing the rich raw material required to apply these capabilities. The article highlights this well by pointing out that one GE jet engine with 20 sensors can produce 1 Terabyte of data every day! The sheer volume of data and the complex interrelationships require the application of advanced analytics to process it all and provide actionable insight. It allows production personal to look forward instead of in the rear-view mirror to anticipate and not respond to, but prevent asset failure. Costly unplanned downtime is reduced, driving efficiency and cost reduction, and ultimately more satisfied customers. This also enables a safer plant environment for our production personnel.

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