Honeywell asks: What's holding back industrial investment in data analytics?

Most manufacturers see data analytics as a key investment, but one-third of executives in a new survey say they're skeptical of its value.

The potential value in the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) is tremendous: Accenture estimates it could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

It's no surprise, then, that a new survey of manufacturing and industrial executives shows that most plan to increase their investment in data analytics over the next year -- even as they delay other tech investments.

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Of the 200 executives surveyed by Honeywell and KRC Research from May 23 to June 8, 2016, 67 percent said they are pressing ahead with plans to invest in analytics even while paring back spending in other areas. Fifteen percent said they believe their companies are ahead of the curve as it relates to data analytics usage.

However, 32 percent said they are not currently investing in data analytics, while 33 percent said their companies are not planning to invest in data analytics in the next 12 months. After introducing an analytics platform called Uniformance this past June, Honeywell commissioned this survey to gain more insight into the market and fine-tune its communications on Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT.) While Uniformance trailed the release GE's Predix platform, there's clearly room in the market for Honeywell.

"For more than 40 years, Honeywell has provided leading automation technologies that help manufacturers meet those goals," said Andrew Hird, vice president and general manager of Honeywell's Digital Transformation unit, in a statement. "The IIoT by Honeywell is the next step in that evolution."

Of those executives surveyed who said they have no plans to invest in data analytics, 42 percent said they don't fully understand the benefits of big data. Additionally, 35 percent believe people are overstating the benefits of big data. As many as 63 percent indicated they simply don't have the resources to appropriately do so, while 39 percent said they don't have the right staff to make the most of data analytics.

Those who are skeptical of its benefits may be interested in hearing from the two-thirds of executives who are investing in data analytics. Roughly three-fourths of all the respondents said that big data will help better manage the supply chain and consequently increase efficiency and revenue. Seventy percent agreed it can reduce the occurrences of equipment breakdowns, and 68 percent said it can reduce unscheduled downtime -- the top threat to maximizing revenue, according to the survey.

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