Friday Data Stories: Future of Product Data Sharing and Semantic Web

Design, Engineering and Manufacturing are all becoming extremely collaborative.  These are the types of environment where a single person cannot do much on their own, they need to work with others. People need to work with their customers on requirements; collaborate within design teams with different specialists; and communicate and work with people outside the team specializing in production, supply chain, and many other fields. Without collaboration, products are either not born at all or start life very handicapped.

One of the most important things that enables collaboration is “data sharing”. Without an ability to share data, your attempt to collaborate will be not successful; chances are you will be talking and collaborating at cross purposes. The following article in GCN caught my attention a few days ago, Is the future of sharing is semantic web?  People today are for the most part still collaborating using Web 1.0 paradigms, that is, today they are exchanging and sharing documents such as CAD files, Excels, etc. This approach is outdated and ineffective.  The idea of the semantic web, as coined by Tim Bernes-Lee, is proliferating these days to more and more spaces. Here is how he describes it in the article:

Semantic Web technologies are already used in government sites such as Data.gov and Recovery.gov, which are part of the Obama administration’s push for open government. Now whole organizations such as the Defense Department are committing to the Semantic Web as a way to improve data discovery and information sharing throughout the military enterprise.

Unlike previous generations of Web tools, which rely on keyword searches of databases and metadata to extract and link data, the Semantic Web enables machines to talk to one another and link data and information through terms that more closely represent the meaning contained in the data.

Like a good analyst, the Semantic Web is constantly taking various data points and making associations between them to come to a new level of understanding of the material, though at a much faster rate and using much larger volumes of data than any human analyst can. Because it’s a standards-based approach, it also means that information can easily move between applications and enterprises, which greatly increases the ease of sharing.

Later on, the article discusses a few examples of government and defense contractors experience with semantic web and intelligent data sharing.  At Inforbix we embrace the ideas of the semantic web and linked data which help increase the efficacy of collaboration. This semantic web approach resonate with the data sharing problems Inforbix addresses. That’s because engineering and manufacturing data is semantically rich. Inforbix is able to connect “relevant pieces” of disparate data together which help people collaborate cross disciplines.

Conclusion. The ideas of semantic web can take collabration and data sharing from a Web 1.0 to Web 3.0 world where people will be able to share “semantically connected” data and collaborate more effectively.  Give Inforbix a test-drive and see for yourself how Inforbix  can help you and your company collaborate more effectively.

Best, Oleg