Product Lifecycle Exhaust

Product Lifecycle Exhaust

Do you think Big Data and noSQL are the last and coolest trend in data world? No way. Software architects and geeks are sleepless to find new and unknown trends and opportunities. Last week I attended COFES 2013 in sunny Arizona. The following buzzword caught my attention during one of the presentations. Here is a new buzzword – Data Exchaust.

I tried to find a better definition of what this term means. There is no consolidate view about that. The I found the best explanation about what is Data Exhaust on IT Law Wiki. Navigate your browser here. It provides four different definitions. The following one resonated the most with my way to think about data exhaust:

The “aggregation of [consumer] data through the digitization of processes and activities” in the commercial sector which generates metadata supporting corporate profit generation.

Here is a picture I captured during COFES 2013 presentation. It shows the idea of data exposed out as a result of mobile device usage.

Data exhaust is tightly connected to some notions of big data. Another interesting article I captured was a publication from O’Reily Strata website. Navigate to the following link to read the article – Tertiary data: Big data’s hidden layer. The article is worth reading. We are producing lots of data these days and this data can be very valuable. Unfortunately, we are far behind in our ability to capture the data we are producing and getting a value of this. Here is an interesting passage:

Back in the days of floppy disks, the lines of ownership were pretty clear. If you had the disk, the data was yours. If someone else had it, it was theirs. Things these days are much blurrier. That tertiary data — data that’s generated about us but not by us — doesn’t just build up on your mobile devices of course. Other people are building datasets about our patterns of movement, buying decisions, credit worthiness and other things. The ability to compile these sorts of datasets left the realm of major governments with the invention of the computer. We’re all aware of this, and there’s even a provocative buzzword to describe it: data exhaust. It’s the data we leave behind us, rather than carry with us.

I captured the following picture from the same article. It shows a visualization of iPhone location tracker.

Data exhaust conversation made me think about Product Lifecycle Exhaust. In everything PLM does today, we are very focused on how we create data during the engineering and manufacturing stage. PLM products provide little to none attention to the information products produce during their lifecycle. The situation is better for long lifecycle articles like airplane and nuclear submarines. But this is where PLM attention to lifecycle information ends.

What is my conclusion? Cost and quality are two top priorities of every manufacturers. In my view, data exhaust can be an interesting source of information about how to improve quality and reduce cost. We can learn about usage experience of our products, we can discover what features are not used by customers and we can learn how to optimize products in order to serve our customers in a better way. Just my thoughts. Do you see it the same way? Speak up. I want to know your opinion. If it resonates, come with examples, please.

Best, Oleg


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