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industry 4.0 Issue no 11 - July 2019

The Big Data Potential

The Sharp End of Innovation While SMEs may typically be at an earlier stage, this isn’t stopping the Valuechain team from pushing forward with “the big data and artificial intelligence stuff”. The company’s work spans the area of big data concerned with machine and production data which was the focus of so many of the exhibitors in Manchester. But it goes further to include less traditional data sources too.

To leverage the potential of this information, Valuechain is working with a team of data scientists at the University of Huddersfield. This team is developing machine learning algorithms that pull datasets in from diverse online sources.

“Cambridge Analytica has raised most people’s awareness about what is possible with online and social media data and the kind of micro-targeting that is possible,” says Alasdair. “Although you might not be able to see that big picture when you are on the first steps of this journey, the traditional production data and the postsales performance data from intelligent products and the social media feedback are all interconnected and part of the same big picture.”

The goals are two-fold: • To offer more comprehensive risk profiles for potential partners, suppliers and customers with a 360˚ perspective. • To understand news and events that are happening throughout the supply chain in real time. While accessing a company’s risk profile information is likely to be a one-off event, the supply chain monitoring is conceived as a rolling stream of data and insights.

Penetrating Deeper into the Supply Chain The artificial intelligence (AI) tools are mapping data that is already publicly available, but that you wouldn’t typically seek out or use within day-to-day decision making. Using AI to collate this information makes it cost effective to integrate into decision-making processes. “The AI finds out data about your suppliers that you wouldn’t normally know,” says Michael. “It will consider things like catastrophes, infringement of law, trends on social media – so it is intelligently scraping data from the web to provide operational intelligence. This live data about things that are happening within the supply chain gives you additional visibility and a constant review of the status of your operating environment. For example, you’re going to know about a flood which is impeding on-time delivery before your supplier tells you about it.”


In this way, Valuechain’s AI tools help to manage risk and improve partnerships, processes and performance. “You can’t even think of this vast potential when you first get started with data,” says Alasdair, “It’s hard to grasp what big data is or what it could mean for your business specifically. But by partnering with a solution expert like Valuechain you have a route to implementing this technology throughout your supply chain eventually. We will be seeking to roll it out throughout our entire software ecosystem.”

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Industry 4.0 Magazine  

It has been three months since our flagship event – The Industry 4.0 Summit & Expo in Manchester. The developments in Industry 4.0 have cont...

Industry 4.0 Magazine  

It has been three months since our flagship event – The Industry 4.0 Summit & Expo in Manchester. The developments in Industry 4.0 have cont...