Create Value at the Edge

Utilizing AI and modern data management to analyze data in real-time.

Manufacturing facilities of the future are the perfect glimpse into the opportunities that edge data creates across industries. These facilities equip their facilities, machines and personnel with sensors while monitoring operating processes and the facility with video feeds. They even go so far as to utilize things like x-ray video to observe products for abnormalities that would go unnoticed to the naked eye. With a combination of these strategies, “smart manufacturing” has the ability to predict maintenance, accurately forecast demand, proactively monitor safety and security, reduce waste, optimize asset utilization and so much more. The opportunities are truly endless. While a manufacturing facility is the perfect example for many of these use cases, the opportunities for edge data to create improvements through real-time intelligence with data is ripe within all industries.

Manufacturing facility that's utilizing Artificial Intelligence in its daily operations.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are providing generational opportunities in enabling organizations to derive and drive new sources of customer, product, service and operational value. But in order to do so, organizations need to transition from “algorithm-driven AI” to “data-enabled AI” by improving the quality, completeness, relevance, granularity and latency of the data that feeds those AI algorithms. The edge has become the new monetization and value creation battleground. And winning at the edge requires edge-literate data management and data monetization strategy and capabilities.

What is the Edge?

The “edge” of the organization is the front lines of customer and operational engagement. It’s where business gets done! The edge is the place – or places – where organizations act on data near its point of creation to create immediate, essential value. Where you find your edge depends on your perspective. For retail, the edge is the point of transaction, whether that is the store or the mobile device where a customer creates an online order. In farming, it’s the equipment deployed in your fields. If you’re an auto manufacturer, it’s the assembly line in your factories. If you’re in healthcare, it’s in the ambulance, examination room and radiology lab.

But engaging at the edge using technology is more than just collecting new sources of data from edge devices. The secret sauce of the edge lies in the technologies’ ability to ingest, store, analyze, infer and act upon data in real or near-real time.

What the Edge Can Do for Your Organization

This list of examples, which is only a small snapshot of the possibilities, shows the truly industry-agnostic ability to create value with edge data:

Energy and Utilities: Remote oil and gas asset optimization, smart grids, load balancing, demand forecasting

Automotive and Smart Cities: Autonomous vehicle navigation, traffic management, parking management, ride hailing

Healthcare: AI-enabled decision support, integrated command centers, robotic-assisted surgeries and surgical training, robotic patient care, telehealth

Retail: End-to-end product visibility, inventory/supply chain management, contactless POS experience, theft protection, in-store traffic optimization

Telecommunications/Media: Bi-directional content delivery, distribution and aggregation

Financial Services: ATM network operation efficiency, personalized customer services, digital teller/brand services, digital/mobile payments, real-time fraud detection

Construction: Weather-enabled alerts, project management, heavy machinery allocation, human resource scheduling, timeline management and build accuracy alerts

How To Get Started

Monetizing the edge starts by understanding an organization’s key business initiatives and then breaking down those business initiatives into the use cases (Operational Decisions + Key Performance Indicators + Business Outcomes) that support the business initiative. You can take a visual journey through the comprehensive, yet engaging, process by visiting this interactive data management journey map.

Join us as we share monthly blogs detailing the opportunities, challenges, strategies and stories that we’ve seen through our customers’ eyes for every step of the journey map. We’ll discuss product options, approaches and use cases along the way so you can gain a better understanding of the opportunities in your own organization and how to uncover them. You can also follow our data management stories on social media using #DellKnowsData.

Bill Schmarzo

About the Author: Bill Schmarzo

Bill Schmarzo is the Customer Advocate for Data Management Innovation at Dell Technologies. He is currently part of Dell Technology’s core data management leadership team, where he is responsible for spearheading customer co-creation engagement to identify and prioritize the customers' key data management, data science, and data monetization requirements. Bill is the former Chief Innovation Officer at Hitachi Vantara where he was responsible for driving Hitachi Vantara’s Data Science and “co-creation” efforts. Bill also has served as CTO at Dell EMC where he formulated the company’s Big Data Practice strategy, identified target markets, developed solution frameworks, and led Analytics client engagements. As the VP of Analytics at Yahoo, Bill delivered the analytics tools and applications that optimized customers’ online marketing spend. Bill is the author of four books and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Menlo College, an Honorary Professor at the University of Ireland – Galway, and an Executive Fellow at the University of San Francisco, School of Management. Bill holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, Computer Science and Business Administration from Coe College.