Digitization and data analytics are transforming aerospace and defense organizations

Teradata PARTNERS Conference, Atlanta. Cutting-edge data analytics is powering the digital revolution, accelerating growth, and reshaping the future of business, a thought leadership panel revealed at the Teradata PARTNERS Conference in Atlanta. Aerospace and defense organizations should embrace change management and digitization, harnessing data analytics to transform into a data-insights business, as are Boeing, Southwest Airlines, and the U.S. Air Force.

Digitization and data analytics are transforming aerospace and defense organizations
Digitization and data analytics are transforming aerospace and defense organizations

Teradata PARTNERS Conference, Atlanta. Cutting-edge data analytics is powering the digital revolution, accelerating growth, and reshaping the future of business, a thought leadership panel revealed at the Teradata PARTNERS Conference in Atlanta. Aerospace and defense organizations should embrace change management and digitization, harnessing data analytics to transform into a data-insights business, as are Boeing, Southwest Airlines, and the U.S. Air Force.

Digitization and data analytics are transforming aerospace and defense organizationsDigitization and data analytics are transforming aerospace and defense organizations

The panel included:

  • Bill Franks, Teradata chief analytics officer
  • Martha Bennett, Forrester Research principal analyst serving chief information officers (CIOs)
  • Bill VanCuren, NCR Corp. chief information officer (business intelligence, data analysis)
  • Sendil Thangavelu, Flextronics data and analytics leader
  • Josh Dixon, senior manager, analytics, Lowe’s Home Improvement

The panel of subject-matter experts stressed the importance of change management to all organizations and individuals. All organizations – whether the industry vertical, such as government, was considered slow-moving, or very dynamic and fast-moving like travel and transportation – should embrace and enact change management. A very real change facing virtually everyone, in fact, is digitization.

Digitization is described as the process of converting information into a digital format . In this format, information is organized into discrete units of data (called bits) that can be separately addressed (usually in multiple-bit groups called bytes)” by TechTarget.

“Those who don’t embrace digitization fall behind,” explained Bill VanCuren, chief information officer in charge of business intelligence and data analysis at NCR Corp., a computer hardware, software, and electronics company and user of Teradata solutions in Duluth, Georgia.

Organizations worldwide – including aerospace and defense firms such as The Boeing Company, the U.S. Air Force, Southwest Airlines, and others – are “extracting insights from data to build a better future,” Bill Franks, chief analytics officer at Teradata, described.

Aerospace and defense organizations, including militaries and air transport service providers, are using data analytics for predictive maintenance, vehicle and performance tracking, weather forecasting, route planning, and to increase reliability, improve arrival times (on time percentages), streamline and automate processes, grow efficiencies, and save money.

“Reinvent yourself within your four walls,” VanCuren recommends. “Analytics coexist with data, you can’t have one without the other.” Embrace both; neither has to be daunting.

Data analytics is “part of a major transition we’re seeing,” recognized Martha Bennett Martha Bennett, principal analyst serving chief information officers (CIOs) at Forrester Research in London. “Whatever the company, data is an intrinsic part of your business. It doesn’t matter what you sell, data is integral to what you offer your customer.

“We’re moving from selling product to selling an outcome – making sure equipment is used to the best effect,” Bennett added. “It doesn’t just happen that an aero engine doesn’t have a problem in flight. Companies [like Pratt & Whitney, CFM International, General Electric, and Rolls-Royce] are not selling engines; they are selling units of propulsion. They are selling airlines the capability of keeping planes flying. Augment what you have with data analytics and do something with those insights.”

Pw1900g Engine Ftb First Flight 01

Data is helping to provide a better experience, “making the customer part of value chain, understanding what they want,” Bennett added. For example, she said, a German manufacturing company that makes highly sophisticated connectors and switches enabled customers to configure components by inputting specifications, and “completely revamped its entire production line into more of a Lego-type ensemble, introducing automation.”

Faced with competing with Chinese component manufacturers, the German company had the courage to change entire processes, Bennett continued. “If you are not prepared to change processes, your data can only take you so far. They also looked at everything from a data perspective. It’s a continuous cycle; insights-driven businesses have a continuous cycle of cap-turing data they need, retrofitting equipment with sensors at data points where they need to make even a marginal improvement.

“Use the data for what it is intended; figure out what is most optimal – that’s where analytics helps you,” Bennett explained. “It’s not ‘implement and done’ – that’s wrong, it’s a continuous cycle.”

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