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Oleg Shilovitsky Of Beyond PLM On Big Data Trends For PLM
Big data is making its way into every field and industry, as companies continue to work out all the angles on how technology can help optimize their businesses. Internet marketers and ecommerce companies have been quick to pick up on the trend, but what about businesses that operate in the real, physical world?
Oleg Shilovitsky is the author of the website BeyondPLM.com, where he comments on every aspect of product lifecycle management.
We spoke with Oleg about some ways that PLM and big data are intersecting, and he speculated on the ways that data will influence our business decisions in the months and years to come.
What makes big data such a hot topic, in your opinion, particularly in regards to the world of PLM?
Big data is hot, because we live in a world surrounded by data. It comes from every place. In the past, even 10 years ago, people were able to survive withemail and do their jobs. Today, it is impossible on both a personal and business level. In a world of engineering and manufacturing, it leads to a completely new way to communicate between engineers and suppliers. It allows companies to plan differently and hopefully to make data-driven decisions. This is where big data (or just data) can become so valuable.
You have talked about an opportunity to leverage big data during the design process, such as information as a service. Could you give an example of “information as a service?”
Information as a Service is simple. Imagine you want to make a “sourcing” decision for a product you are going to prototype. You need nearby suppliers of materials, and you probably won’t be very concerned about price. However, after prototyping, you need to move into limited production. Your decision about parts suppliers will be different. Now, think about how intelligent information as a service can help you make this decision in the context of your product, company, etc.
Are there a lot of companies who have embraced the concept of data-driven design? In conjunction with smart marketing metrics, how can this be the business solution everybody’s been looking for?
My hunch is that there are many companies that are trying to achieve data intelligence in product design. I don’t want to endorse vendors here, but I can see how PLM vendors are developing tools that allow collection of customer information and closing the loop into design. The biggest challenge is to cleanse information and structure it in a way engineers can use for design purposes.
What are some kinds of live objects that might be analyzed? How will people capture physical entities and re-use them for design of new products?
You can see many examples of real life capturing and re-use. Think about 3D scanning and re-use of the product in 3D design. You can scan an existing product, improve its shape, and use it for the design. Another example is the point cloud. You can, for example, scan your existing production environment and use it to optimize the production process or create new or modified production lines.
How can this rich data and physical modeling, in conjunction with big data, finally start to unlock the potential for maximum efficiency with computers, instead of just creating more things for us to know and things to come up with?
I think we need to stop using “big data” as a buzzword. It is just about data. There are different tools that can help you work with, analyze, and re-use data. Data is just getting into different forms and requires appropriate technology to handle that.