Gaining Actionable Information from Big Data in Motion Control

Big data is poised to create a revolution in productivity for the industrial sector. Interest in analyzing machine-to-machine, line-to-line, and plant-to-plant data has exploded in recent years due to the potential benefits of high-level production insight. 

Big data analysis has yet to see widespread adoption, however. This is because the ability to collect information often exceeds the ability to analyze information.

Given the challenges of big data analysis, why is it still so popular? How can you start gaining actionable information from big data?

Finding Actionable Information in Motion Control

In big data, one success leads to another. Cost savings in one area can justify big data investment in another area, and a production-wide system of data analysis can slowly be built. 

The key is practicality. Here are a few tips for getting started:

Start Small

Data isn’t worth much if it can’t be analyzed. Gathering information from all possible sources at once can lead to "analysis paralysis," in other words, having so much data you're not sure how to make sense of it all. Start with one process, gain experience acting on this information and take that success to another process.

Identify One Specific Problem

It’s helpful to start big data analysis on a process that is currently slow or inefficient. Gathering data from spot-welding machines that are already running at peak efficiency won’t provide much initial value. Choose one process with the potential for big success to see initial value and to justify the costs of further big data initiatives.

Determine the Flow of Information

Who will be in charge of analyzing big data? What device will they use? Again, data isn't worth much if it can’t be analyzed. It’s important that someone is designated responsibility for analyzing and acting on the information received from big data projects, otherwise the data won’t lead to improved productivity.

Big data analysis has the potential to radically change operations in the industrial sector. Manufacturers that use big data will see improved productivity and reduced operating costs. Starting small with a detailed plan can ensure quick success in big data and longer-term productivity gains.

To learn more about gaining actionable information from big data in motion control, watch the archived webinar, "How to Turn Big Data into Actionable Information."