Product Data Apps and Empowering Decision Making

I was recently talking to one of our new Beta Customers who reflected on something I increasingly keep hearing more of.  He related how busy he is (“swamped” was the word he used) and how the lack of time is impacting his ability to make decisions.  That got me thinking how challenging it is for engineers to find time during their busy day to gather the information they need to make good decisions.  And to confound matters, the required information usually involves a painful process of extraction (similar to pulling teeth).  

Have a look at the following blog post. Chad Jackson introduces one of the topics in the upcoming CIC Management Forum Panel tracks.  Link to the CIC conference link.

This is my favorite passage from his blog post:

First, product information is often scattered across many enterprise systems such as PLM, ERP, SCM and the like. Second, that product information is often not in the context of the product or part to which it applies. And third, engineers have lifecycle responsibilities that pull them far and wide across the company, undermining their ability to become experts in any software application or enterprise system.

That last statement resonated with me.   It asserts that engineers won’t have the time or scope to become experts in any software application.  In other words, having a command of how to effectively and efficiently extract information from various sources within a company is becoming (or already is) an unattainable goal for anyone.  Software applications, despite the promises made by vendors to the contrary, are simply becoming both too complex and specialized for anyone to take the time to master.  And yet the challenges as pointed out by Chad in his blog post remain.

The solution, I am convinced, is to provide easy and intuitive contextual access to information (or data) independent of where it is located and the application serving as ‘gate keeper’ to it.  In addition, having an ability to easily extract the crucial pieces of information needed to help make a particular decision is essential.  Inforbix Product Data Applications are the solution that allows busy people to do just that.  It’s how “product data” can efficiently and effectively be extracted, sliced-n-diced into something meaningful that facilitates quick and sound decision-making.  Here’s a video that introduces one of Inforbix’s Product Data Application called xTable:

Notice how product or engineering data is presented in virtual tables.  It’s a helpful way of presenting and viewing up-to-date product data from any source in the company.  It’s how Inforbix liberates engineers (or anyone else) from having to become software application experts just for the purpose of gathering the information required for making sound decisions.  Do you think usage of virtual tables with an excel-like interface to both retrieve and view data be helpful?

Best, Oleg.