Have your heard about the new buzz in the town? Well, the new buzz is Big Data. What started as a low hum 2 – 3 years ago is turning into major buzz today. Mention of Big Data is appearing with growing frequency in manufacturing and, more specifically, in the context of product lifecycle. I’ve been reading a CIMdata article, Analytics, PLM Converge Amid Data Tsunami; A Ceaseless Search for Sustainable Advantage. In the article, CIMdata talks about the drivers increasing the amount of data in & out of manufacturing companies and the way PLM vendors address this. The following passage is my favorite:
Finding this kind of information requires patience plus skills in organizational structures, digital networks and databases. Uncovering hidden connections among seemingly unrelated items-the more important value proposition-requires powerful analytics tools. These tools are a focus of much development in areas such as ad-hoc report formats, key performance indicators (KPIs) to help keep searches relevant, and customizable dashboards.
The new dashboards generate intuitive, easily understood visuals for busy decision makers and help ascertain that only current, verified information is being navigated. Dashboard innovations also help align business processes with real-time as well as archived data.
Structured data, in contrast, is less voluminous (also according to IDC), somewhat slower growing and much easier to handle. Spreadsheets are a prime example of structured data; data in rows and columns is easily searched, retrieved, parsed, and reformatted. Also comparatively easy to search are text-based files and e-mail.
I found some very interesting messages which resonated with what we are doing at Inforbix. Namely, the use of connected information, dashboards with verified information, and the ubiquitous use of spreadsheets. Inforbix can do something special with all three messages which resonated. It crawls and scans on-premise data from any source or location and can retrieve and expose this data using a web-browser.
With regards to verified information, Inforbix can automatically update and monitor live on-premise information and present that to the user using Dashboards.
Last, but not least, Inforbix provides a unique way to convert unstructured data in Excel spreadsheets into structured information that is always current.
Conclusion. Inforbix is well prepared to help companies handle the growing amount of structured product data (eg. CAD, PDM, PLM) and less structured content (eg. Excel spreadsheets). The efficiency and ease of use of Inforbix makes it applicable to small engineering firms and manufacturing companies. Give Inforbix a try on your own data or demo it yourself using our own data set. Do it today!