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The Importance of Data Analytics in the Digital Era
December 5, 2019 Blog


Authored by: Issam Hijazi, Director of Solution Engineering, APAC, Hitachi Vantara

Data has become the business-enabling capital of the digital era. But unlike traditional assets, the value of your data grows over time, creating a powerful source of management insight and competitive advantage.

Yet it’s harder than ever before to unlock that value. While there’s more data available to inspire and enlighten, it’s locked away in more siloes and systems than many companies can handle. To deliver outcomes that matter, enterprises need to manage, secure, integrate and analyze their data efficiently and maximize ‘return on data’ – to drive innovation, transform customer experiences and unlock new revenue streams.

Organizations today see the potential for analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and new digital business models to transform their operations in the new ‘Data Economy’ but their existing data management tools and processes aren’t keeping up.

Traditional approaches to managing data aren’t working in today’s business environment, where new data workloads are being generated from enterprise AI, machine learning and augmented reality.

To move beyond the opportunities for innovation made possible by Internet of Things (IoT) data and technologies, Hitachi Vantara recently announced the expansion of its signature Lumada data platform services and solutions portfolio. Since it was initially unveiled and made commercially available in 2017, Hitachi has driven nearly US$10 billion in revenue from Lumada-based offerings.

By enabling intelligent data operations to help enterprises improve efficiency and drive innovation, a new extension of Lumada capabilities beyond IoT and into Data Operations (DataOps), now addresses the challenges common to enterprise and industrial customers in any industry and for any use case.

This is because, across industries, enterprises need more automated, policy-based approaches and collaborative data management to break down data silos and drive more innovation. And this requires collaborative data management across an adaptable and governed data fabric supply chain in their enterprise, from edge to core to multicloud, to realise the potentials of AI and analytics.

Tackling industrial data challenges

For example, in manufacturing – where IDC cited US$178 billion in IOT investment in 2016 with US$102.5 billion of it in manufacturing operations, Lumada tackles the biggest production floor issues so that producers can react quickly to fluctuating demand, and allocate resources optimally so that they can better supply value-added products that meet their customer requirements.

It does this with real-time factory operations visualizations to detect production bottlenecks, and by optimizing order and production scheduling using multivariate analysis of production parameters to increase on-time delivery and operational efficiency with improved asset utilization. Production optimization solutions can implement countermeasures as process delays occur, and a single data lake aggregates disparate organizational technology (OT) and IT data, and statistical modelling provides best options for optimal scheduling.

Entire production flows can be managed while also monitoring the health of a plant’s industrial assets, and machine learning can adjust the optimal route and velocity in the production process, to achieve the desired quantity and quality of finished goods, while reducing incidents using real-time analysis, active notification and visualization tools.

Outcomes include significant reductions in inventory costs, and faster production lead times.  It has been estimated that a big data, advanced analytics approach can result in a 20-25% increase in production volume and a 45% reduction in downtime when IT and OT are integrated via IoT and managed with appropriate data solutions. Similar metrics can be applied to transportation & logistics, utilities and other industries.

Taken together, Lumada Manufacturing Insights optimize machine, production and quality outcomes to set the foundation of digital innovation that is essential to Manufacturing 4.0.

For the enterprise data challenge: getting the right data to the right place at the right time

Getting the right data to the right place at the right time for enterprises, requires software data services that can manage complex data ecosystems with an intelligent data foundation. For the enterprise, Lumada Data Services can enable customers to orchestrate the ingestion, storage, discovery, preparation and delivery of governed data based on business policies for analytics, governance and operational cost savings.

It does this by allowing cost-effective management of structured and unstructured data assets across data center, cloud and edge locations. New data flow services allow for data pipeline sharing, management and monitoring, and data pipeline friction can be reduced while providing advanced data discovery, access and integration from edge to cloud.

An innovative, “smart” data lake that is self-optimizing – and which intelligently places data sets in an optimal location – continuously curates to avoid data swamps and is readily accessible to analytics anywhere, while a new set of software and validated edge hardware devices enable organizations to manage data and analytics at the network edge for IoT connected products, immersive customer experiences, remote and disconnected sites, and branch offices.