I am sure by now most people have heard about big data. It is such a broad topic that it causes a lot of confusion, especially in the B2B world. In the simplest definition, it means massive data sets that are so large that they are difficult to process using traditional databases or software techniques (source: Wikipedia). According to Frost and Sullivan analysis, digital content is growing at such a fast rate that by 2025 global data traffic will be over 100 zettabytes! So, this trend is not going away any time soon; on the contrary, data is doubling every 18 months (Frost and Sullivan analysis).

I sat down with a member of the big data innovation team, Matt Elder, to figure out how Micro Motion is unlocking the potential of big data to help our customers. Like the rest of our innovation teams, this team consists of a group of people across many departments – Joel Weinstein (R&D Manager/Senior Engineer), Mark Wridt (Engineer), Sam Owen (Global Econometric Analyst), Brandy Jack (Manager of Business Intelligence) and Tim Cunningham (Engineer VII Technical Fellow).

“We use the concept of big data to work collaboratively with our customers to learn as much as we can about a specific application,” said Matt, “For example, utilizing the 5700 transmitter platform a customer can gather large amounts of process data and analyze it. By combining advanced analytical tools with process expertise from Micro Motion, a customer would be able to recognize process upsets before they occur and even unlock the capability of predictive maintenance. These capabilities are not possible with just the data, but rather how Micro Motion takes the analytics and applies insights utilizing our industry-leading experience and knowledge.”

Currently, we are looking at big data to solve internal and external customer-facing problems, which has opened many previously locked doors for the big data team and for customers. Some other benefits of gathering this much data from our meters include improving the quality of our products. As we continue to enable more insight into our meters, as well as customers’ processes, we can see what is working and what is not working. Of course, this informs future product and service development.

“The process industry is known for not moving as fast regarding current trends in technology, compared to other industries. But our customers need us to – and rely on us to do this – so for Micro Motion, this is a huge jump forward,” said Matt.

According to Charlie Peters, Senior Executive Vice President of Emerson, Big Data will only continue to advance. This will allow us to simplify projects and broaden the power of analytics. Soon, more people will be able to access these analytics and this will become a part of everyone’s daily job – not just a data scientist or a computer scientist. Big data and the IoT is important in sustaining innovation. (source: http://www.theextramilewithcharlie.com/points-of-view/peering-future-2015/)

How does your company use big data? Have you seen any challenges?