I witnessed an awesome panel today at the GE Minds+Machines event in San Francisco. Moderated by Chris Anderson of Wired, executives from 4 industries described the opportunities (and some of the challenges) that come from advanced analytics and smarter workforces.
Deborah Butler, CIO of Norfolk Southern, described the promise of more optimized, automated dispatching, the fuel efficiencies from smarter locomotives and the preventative maintenance from track side sensors which monitor for problem wheels (as with Union Pacific I wrote about here)
Michael Niggli, president and COO of San Diego Gas and Electric described with smart meters and other innovations they now have 900 x more data on consumer usage compared to 3 years ago.This is allowing them to “gamify” reductions in kilowatts of power consumption. He described “smart transformers” which will allow for more optimal scheduling of nighttime charging of electric vehicles across the customer base. He talked about the payback from growing renewable fuels (up to 21% now)
Gary Beck, VP Flight Operations of Alaska Airlines, described their success with Required Navigation Performance (see my post here), the efforts with the Green Skies over Seattle project and the opportunity to spread similar efficiency/lower emissions across the country. He talked about how the massive data that aircraft already create – performance, Gs related to turbulence etc could be shared across the air grid rather than being summarized today via air traffic controllers.
Wayne Keathley, President of Mount Sinai Hospital, talked about being at the verge of massive breakthroughs in medicine with advances in genomics and pathogenesis and with an extremely skilled workforce. However, the economics of the industry are under severe pressure, and the hospital model needs to move from individual patient focus to population awareness with plenty of services being delivered outside the traditional hospital walls. He also talked about hotspots with massive data availability
Here’s the kicker. GE believes that just 1% improvements in each of these industries can generate massive payback as the slide below shows. I could have listened to the 5 go on all day long.
BTW Chris did a superb job moderating this wide panel of executives, and I complimented him afterwards. In turn, he signed a copy of his new book Makers: The New Industrial Revolution :)
I will post a video of the session when available.