In a reflective report, Deloitte Consulting focuses corporate attention on the subject of ‘asset intelligence’. Not to be confused with asset management or artificial intelligence, this is a report that positions asset intelligence as the ‘new frontline’ in the battle for customer intimacy and competitive advantage. Put simply, the report, “The rise of asset intelligence: moving business analytics from reactive to predictive – and beyond”, authored by two of Deloitte Consulting senior principals, Doug Standley and Jane Griffin, presents a very credible case for all businesses to discuss the full value of asset intelligence for their individual firms.

Take a look at our ten point report summary:

  1. We will soon have an ‘internet of things’ where the number of devices (or sensors) connected to the internet will reach 1 trillion by 2013 (Source: Barrons; reference: Padmasree Warrior, the Chief Technology Officer at Cisco).
  2. The volume of ‘transactional data’ (signals) collected and stored (such as debit card swipes, mobile phone calls, web searches, music downloads or on-demand TV and movies etc etc) is simply enormous. For example, Walmart alone adds a million interactions per hour to its 2.5 pentabyte customer database and more than 34,000 Google searches happen every second (Source: SearchEngineLand).
  3.  Simply put, an asset is any signal (data) from any ‘thing’ (sensor) from any ‘where’ that is important to the user. Asset intelligence is how you use these signals to support business decision making and to transform business from a reactive to a predictive enterprise. It requires a systemic approach to sensors, signals, analytics and automation.
  4. The more sensors and signals that operate within a business, the more information and choices that business has; choices and potential therefore to drive smarter action, to reduce process or service latency and to create value.
  5. Most enterprise data resides in disconnected and/or proprietary environments limiting the ability of firms to form communities to advance ‘collective intelligence’.
  6. Making sense of so many signals is where business analytics comes into play. Business analytics is the process of mining huge volumes of information to drive business strategy and performance. However, for many businesses investing in business analytics, only the ‘basics’ are covered such as compliance and reporting. In addition, the ‘core’ approach to business analytics has been to look at past data for patterns. Deeper analytics of signals requires a shift of focus from hindsight to foresight. It needs rules, notifications, resources and systems that embed capabilities in the organization to inspire a culture of ‘right-time’ decision making.
  7. Going deeper in business analytics begins with understanding the questions which matter most to each individual enterprise. The Deloitte report proposes 8 key questions for each business to consider:
  • What is an asset? It need not be on the balance sheet or within a depreciation schedule.
  • Which assets play a significant role in targeted business processes?
  • What information would be valuable to extract from each asset?
  • What signals do you already capture, and how?
  • What actions can each asset potentially undertake?
  • What are the critical interactions or relationships between assets?
  • What improvements or innovations could occur with better visibility or automation?
  • Where is the latency in your value chain?

8. Asset intelligence should be fitted within an overarching information strategy, tied to business objectives, to ensure that its full potential can be realized.

9. Embracing large scale data capture presents challenges. However, new systems are emerging to help businesses assimilate data, provide neutral platforms for data visualization and opportunities to automate for faster, cheaper or more reliable business processes.

10. Automation of what businesses need to know as well as what businesses need to do presents new opportunities to to take faster, smarter actions using real-time signals that produce real-time alerts and real-time responses from real-time organizations.

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