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Becoming “Data Smart” May Save Manufacturers Billions


As we continue to live more and more in an information age, data is becoming a major part of our daily lives. Pretty much everyone carries around a smart phone with access to the Internet and a “data plan” that measures the amount of data that you download and upload. This is a far cry from the days of land lines and rotary dials.

Data is an important player in manufacturing, as well, and according to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) study sponsored by Microsoft, it’s also a major source of possible revenue and cost savings. The study reveals what Microsoft claims is a global net value of around $370 billion over four years, if more manufacturers become “data smart.” What does “data smart” mean to you? According to Sanjay Ravi, worldwide managing director for discrete manufacturing and industrial industries at Microsoft, being data smart is about “using data to drive business transformation.”

Microsoft recommends that manufacturers take four steps to become “data smart:”

  1. Combine at least 3 or 4 discrete data sources
  2. Use analytics tools to gain insight from the data that you gather
  3. Convey those insights to decision makers across the company in a consumable fashion
  4. Ensure that all the insights are shared across the company in a timely manner

Microsoft says that companies that implement all four steps stand to gain a 60% greater return on their data assets. While the process sounds straightforward, it can be a major undertaking for many manufacturers, especially those who still rely on older equipment or processes. Analytics tools such as in-memory analytics, streaming data, and cloud machine learning can help speed the process along, but for many manufacturers a large up-front learning and implementation curve will precede any significant gains.

Still, the IDC study found several high value areas that can yield impressive returns on “data smart” investments, including productivity and operations, as well as product innovation and customer engagement. IDC has pointed out several examples of manufacturers that have used “data smart” processes to see quick returns in productivity and cost savings, such as a plant that can manufacture a car body every 77 seconds using “data smart” approaches, or a heavy equipment manufacturer that analyzes cloud data to schedule predictive maintenance.

Ultimately, being “data smart” is just one of many ways that manufacturers can boost production and save on costs, which is something that manufacturers are always looking to do. That’s why it’s always important to keep processes running smoothly with the help of the right deburring machinery solutions. At the Cleveland Deburring Machine Company (CDMC), we know the importance of an effective, reliable, and efficient manufacturing process, and we know the problems that a burr in the system can cause. We always provide the best deburring machinery solutions, custom-tailored to the needs of our manufacturing clients.

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