Times are changing…and those that don’t change get left behind.

Actify have been in the visualization business for over 15 years and in that time, much has changed. Globally we are currently producing 2.4 Quintillion (2,400,000,000,000,000,000 that’s 17 zeros) bytes of data daily! If you consider that 80% of the world’s digital information has been produced in only the last two years, it’s not far-fetched to assume that the  volume of data available is only going to increase, and rapidly. Within a few years the number 2.4 Quintillion bytes of data per day will seem minimal. In keeping with the accelerated pace of change and our goal to provide the manufacturing industry with useful, cost-effective solutions, the strategy at Actify has also evolved considerably.

We spent a significant amount of time in looking and studying ideas and activities in other industries that could benefit manufacturing. Something that caught our eye was the way other industries are analyzing the massive amounts of information that they acquire to adopt strategies that utilize the insights being uncovered. A good example of this is the retail industry.

For many years, the retail industry has been collecting information about its customers and how they spend their money and yet it is only recently that they have started to adopt marketing strategies focused on the individual. Research is showing that revenue and profits can be increased by a targeted marketing message to the most profitable, or high-value customers. The improvement in data crunching abilities available in the market have allowed retailers to change the way they operate and it will not be long before individuals receive offers on their mobile devices  as they meander around the store. The retail industry is a good example that collecting the information is not enough.  Strategies need to be in place to help you use and analyse information so that you can make better and smarter decisions

If you do not think the volume of data is going to explode  let’s talk about a niche area within manufacturing: the automotive sector and the self-drive car, as an example for the manufacturing industry. For the autonomous car to be functional, consider all of the sensors required, and just how much data that they will generate. It is estimated that a typical autonomous car will generate approximately 1 GB of information per second. If you consider that on average, an American drives 600 hours per year which equates to 2 Petra bytes of data per year, per car! With the number of cars globally just shy of the billion mark, you can start to see just how much information is going to be generated, but more importantly for us, is how much information will be available to designers. But what’s being done about all of this information?

When we started to look at these trends it quickly became obvious that a huge hurdle to overcome for the design organisation to use the information available was the complexity of the information itself. Let’s just consider one database that designers rely on considerably, CAD. Your CAD files contain a huge amount of information, but extracting the information and being able to use it in a meaningful way mashed with other pieces of information is nontrivial. This level of complexity is one of the fundamental reasons that manufacturing companies have lagged behind using big data in the design process. It’s complicated.

Because of our legacy in being able to view and expose information from within CAD files, Actify have adopted a strategy of linking this information to data being generated from other systems into easy-to-use dashboards, so that engineers and managers can gain insights never before available to them. Our goal at Actify, as it has been for many years, is to provide manufacturing companies with a way to streamline their business by providing solutions that help increase the ROI from their existing investments. We have adopted our strategy to include the massive amount of information available to manufacturers and visually provide a way to help them make faster and smarter decisions.