Data analytics in the digital age

1 March 2017

Data is on an exponential growth curve, and if managed well, could transform manufacturing, says Professor Jim Norton

Consider what data can do for your business, Professor Jim Norton one of the UK’s most renowned technologists told delegates at a CIPS Passion for Procurement event in January.

Data is on an exponential growth curve, and if managed well can benefit businesses, he said. “But we need to manage this data in order to avoid drowning in it.”

The ability to collect data in real time, collate it and create by-products of the data can provide interesting possibilities, with plenty of examples of how it can improve
a businesses offering.

He pointed to Jack Ma, owner of Alibaba sales website in China, who also has a financial services business.

He uses data from purchases on Alibaba to create a credit rating in minutes, and once a loan has been decided can transfer the money into the applicant’s bank account in seconds.

Using data analytics in manufacturing is already seeing some products turn into services, such as Rolls-Royce, which is no longer selling engines, but power by the hour – and that is all driven by data analytics.

Monitoring strain gauges on bridges could mean better management of the loads travelling on a bridge, predicting maintenance, and creating a good business model to sell the bridge by the hour.

“It is hard to find a sector that you can’t transform from product to service,” he said. You should think about how it would help yours, he advised.

The Passion for Procurement series continues through the year with: Modern Day risks to Procurement; Talent Management; and Brand Procurement.

Check out the dates and locations at: bit.ly/passionforproc

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