I love interviewing senior corporate executives for my books. The conversations are always about large problems they are trying to solve.
So, for this book, an executive talked to me about how they define Big Data. 15 gb of data for every flight. Half a terabyte of data from a turbine. Similar from other equipment. Now multiply that by thousands and thousands of units. Major consideration – how do we minimize cost of managing a terabyte of data and how to dramatically reduce data ingestion time? How do we deliver orders of magnitude improvements in each?
A oil executive told me how 3D visualization, sensory analytics and massive computing power, now enable a geologist to perform sub-surface analysis of a formation remotely and empower the corrosion planner to virtually create plans in hours versus walking around facilities or in the field for days. Much safer to humans and much, much better decisions.
A manufacturing executive told me they move 25% of their plant capacity across borders in a year so they can produce closer to emerging market demand as middle classes blossom around the world. Think of the logistical implications of such constant moves.
None of these challenges have off the shelf tech solutions. They require integration of multiple tools and lots of customizations.
That frustrates many analysts because they do not neatly fall into market categories. Consultants lose interest when they don’t recognize the vendors that provide the solutions. My books have no such constraints. The grander the challenge, the more ink they get.