Do CPG Manufacturers Have Big Data Issues?

When the words “big data” are used many times, it conjures up images of very high-speed production processes or über-large assets pumping out a continuous stream of complex information. In fact, at our annual customer advisory council meeting back in 2012 when we were showing our new big data solutions, the response from CPG manufacturers was, “Great, but we don’t have big data.”

For this year’s upcoming PACK EXPO conference, when we were planning our three presentations for the innovation showcase with PMMI, the first thing they requested was for us to do something on big data because it was a hot topic for their CPG members. So why the renewed interest?

To understand why, let’s first take a step back and consider the vanilla definition:

Bigger“Big data usually includes data sets with sizes beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capturecurate, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time.”

So it’s not just about the volume and speed of data, but the ability to provide correlation and analysis across different data types “within a tolerable elapsed time.” And that’s the golden nugget for CPG manufacturers. The same technology our GE Global Research group developed for data mining the huge data set for our Aviation and Energy divisions is just as applicable in helping CPG manufacturers quickly correlate where they have issues in current production processes and also predict where issues may occur.

Brian Courtney, General Manager of our Data Management business, will take the Innovation Stage at PACK EXPO to present on big data on September 24th at 2pm.

Brian also recently had a byline on this subject in the Financial Times.

As you will see from the PACK EXPO, I too, will be presenting at the conference, so feel free to pop along and say hello. I still have some free registration passes available. Just drop me a line at, and I can forward one to you.

Barry Lynch

Barry, Global Marketing Director – Automation Hardware at GE's Automation & Controls business, passionately believes that connected machines, mobile data analytics and workforce enablement don’t have to be hurdles in business today. He leads the strategic direction of the company’s automation and information systems programs to help customers apply the power of the Industrial Internet to their businesses. By connecting machines, data, insights and people, our technology solutions deliver critical insight for greater operational efficiency, effectiveness and optimization. Learn more about how Barry works at GE on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter at @BarryLynchGE.

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