Manufacturers Have Much to Gain From Big Data Analysis

Big data is transforming the manufacturing world. Of leaders surveyed by IDC Manufacturing Insights (IDCMI) who have a handle on big data, 51% expect to generate new revenue streams from the insight they glean.

Operations managers can take deep dives into historical process data, identify patterns and relationships among discrete process steps and inputs, and then optimize the factors that prove to have the greatest effect on yield, according to McKinsey.

“As manufacturers think about big data, they should focus more on the analysis end than the capturing end.”

For example, one big pharma company is using advanced analytics to significantly increase its yield in vaccine production while incurring no additional capital expenditures, by crunching data about its manufacturing processes and how they impacted yield—and then making targeted process changes.

General Motors’ current recall crisis has had the automaker pressing for ways it can predict potential safety problems and patterns earlier. One promising avenue could be to tap into the massive diagnostic data that already exists in GM’s OnStar system—its digital and connected infotainment platform that has been gathering information on the function of connected vehicles for 18 years.

Subscribers who receive OnStar’s monthly diagnostic emails about their own vehicles see a few dozen of these measurements, but GM has them all, The New York Times noted. The company could analyze that data, looking across thousands or even millions of vehicles in search of safety problems. For now, however, GM remains tight-lipped about any big-data applications it may be making to engineering and manufacturing challenges with the OnStar data.

As manufacturers think about big data, they should focus more heavily on the analysis end than the capturing end, as capturing and storing data is the easy part. Finding valuable and usable insight in a timely fashion and then putting it to good use is the key to achieving increased revenue streams.



  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.