The amount of data we produce is skyrocketing these days. Social web, mobile devices, internet of things – these are only few examples of data sources that massively changing our life. The situation in the business space is not much different. Companies are more and more involved into connected business. Design, supply chain, manufacturing – all activities are producing a significant amount of digital information every minute. In design, the complexity of products is growing significantly. Personalization, customer configurations and many other factors are creating significant data flow. Simulation is another space that potentially can bring a significant amount of data. I was watching presentation "Workspace 2020" made by Dion Hinchcliffe last week at the forum "Transform the way work gets done". Navigate to the slide share slides and take a look. One of the numbers stroke me – speed of data growth. Now (in 2013) we double data in 2 years. By 2020, we are going to double the data every 3 months.
The massive amount of data brings the question how engineering, design and manufacturing systems can handle this data and produce a meaningful insight and decision support for engineers and other people involved into development process. The question of data analytics came to my mind. In the past data analytics was usually associated with long, complicated and expensive process involving IT, resources, time and programming. Cloud and new computing ecosystem are changing this space. I was reading the announcement made by Tableau (outfit focusing on providing analytic dashboards and tools) – Tableau Software partners with Google to Visualize Big Data at Gartner IT Symposium.
The partnership mixes Tableau’s analytics with the Google Cloud Platform. The technology was presented at Gartner conference in Orlando recently. Here is an interesting passage explaining what Tableu did with Google:
“Tableau and Google created a series of dashboards to visualize enormous volumes of real-time sensory data gathered at Google I/O 2013, Google’s developers’ conference. Data measuring multiple environmental variables, such as room temperature and volume, was analyzed in Tableau and presented to attendees at the Gartner event. With Tableau’s visual analytics, Gartner attendees could see that from the data created, I/O conference managers could adjust the experience and gain insights in real time, like re-routing air-conditioning to optimize power and cooling when rooms got too warm.”
I found the following video interesting explaining how easy you can build some analytics with Tableu and Google Big Query.
It made me think about future potential of analytics we can bring into design and engineering process by analyzing huge amount of data – simulation, customer, operational. Just think about combining data collection from products in the field, mixed with some simulation analyzes that can be used to improve design decisions. Does it sounds crazy and futuristic? Yes, I think so. However, there are many other places that we considered crazy just few years ago and it became the reality now.
What is my conclusion? Data analytics is one of the fields that can provide a potential to improve design and engineering process by analyzing significant amount of data. Think about leveraging cloud infrastructure, network and graph databases combined with visual and intuitive analytic tools. It is not where we are today. This is how future will look like. Just my thoughts…