There’s a growing gap in process knowledge. It’s one of the biggest issues traditional blue-collar industries face. And its causes include a lack of interest in joining what some people consider “dirty jobs” such as oil & gas and manufacturing. Compounding the issue, a large portion of the workforce in these industries are approaching retirement age, taking with them their decades of process knowledge and experience.
The question to ponder is this: If knowledge is not available in people, how can we bridge this gap? The answer, like so many, lies in technology. More specifically, it lies in process data itself. And finding ways to transform it into knowledge – actionable insights that drive greater results.
Many companies have begun collecting process data or have been for years. However, this data typically ends up sitting, untapped, in different locations. Engineers are stuck trying to pull these data points into open-source software and Excel. Yet, an in-depth understanding of the processes they are trying to address often doesn’t exist.
This is where companies get stuck. The good news is, many businesses are discovering the value of leveraging third-party offerings in the form of consulting – to bridge the gap and get them up to speed so they can glean valuable insights from data on their own.
The first step when employing such a team is to clean, prep, and enrich your data. This means bringing all of your historical data together into a single location so it can be effectively consumed by an analytics platform and deliver a deeper understanding of the process it represents. Then a company selects the best analytics tools for dissecting that now clean data. Note: often businesses that offer in-depth analytics tools also offer services around data preparation, so don’t hesitate to ask!
The bottom line is this: Data is essential. Essential to the future of heavy industries, whether making incremental gains in efficiency or, in this case, bridging the process knowledge gap. But it’s also necessary for businesses to maintain relevance in an incredibly fast-paced world. Digital transformation of industry offers many benefits. Whether it’s enhancing the knowledge of your veteran operators, bridging the knowledge gap of those retiring or getting your newbies confidently up to speed, data will drive the future. What are you doing to get a front row seat?
The following questions can help you decide if you’re ready for digital transformation:
Are you using your data? How? Are you finding value in ways you’re using it?
If any of these answers is no, bridging the knowledge gap will be difficult within any industry.
Yet if you make digital transformation a priority, and seek the right partners, you’ll discover it’s easy and rewarding to effectively use your data to drive value.