The awe inspiring off-highway industry

When people ask me about my job, I tell them that I get to learn something new every day. Sometimes that can be an overwhelming task, but most of the time it is a daily rejuvenation of my curiosity. I can’t believe that after almost nine years in the industry, I’m still excited to go to work every morning.

One topic in particular that I just can’t seem to get enough of is Big Data. Data and data analysis are becoming very powerful tools that OEMs can harness and provide as services to their customers, adding one extra layer of benefit to an equipment purchase beyond the expected fuel economy and productivity measurements. The industry seems to be leaning toward a data-first, machine-features-second sort of mentality.

Big Data seeks to take all of that information we are pulling off of the vehicle and do even more with it. What will be done with the data remains to be answered by each individual OEM.

As they navigate through the endless information and apply their industry and customer knowledge to the data, OEMs can begin to extract personalized value and meaning from the information. That is what many in the industry are now referring to as Smart Data—the next step in Big Data’s evolution.

That brings me back to why I love this job so much. I am watching a new industry emerge and shape itself in the eyes of its users. I’m seeing its first industrial applications to the off-road mobile vehicle manufacturing industry, and it is absolutely fascinating.

I’m already excited to look back one year from now and see how much more we’ve learned, and to see how much further data analysis has taken the industry and vehicle design. But what I’m most interested to see is the next several generations of mobile equipment that emerge in the coming years using the new knowledge that is gleaned from Smart Data.

Also, speaking of looking ahead, don’t forget to watch for our upcoming State of the Industry issue that always features insightful projections of the global marketplace and technology trends from some of the off-highway industry’s most highly-regarded leaders.

If you’d like to participate in the State of the Industry Q&A’s, you can email me directly at editor@oemoffhighway.com, or you can monitor our social networks for our questions with the hashtag #SotI2015 and respond through those outlets.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone!

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