We did the Danube cruise on Viking (you can see its ads on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS) from Nuremberg to Budapest–two of my favorite cities.
Three are many notable takeaways from the trip, but one thing stands out from a professional perspective. That would be workforce recruitment and training.
Every person on the ship’s staff was obviously screened well and then trained impeccably. It’s the same reason I like to stay at Marriotts. The staff is invariably friendly and trained–not only to do their jobs well but also to excel at customer service.
This contrasted markedly with the poor American Airlines guy who was managing (sort of) the queue through security at JFK. He’d do one thing, then reverse himself, then reverse again. All this in the space of 15 minutes! The queues were hopeless. Some industrial engineering training would go a long way toward adequate customer service at JFK.
Big Data and Jim Pinto
Meanwhile, I’ve finished sorting through about 1,200 emails today in addition to a couple of meetings. Catching up with work after a trip is so much fun.
Jim Pinto’s latest blog message was buried in my email folder. Turning from his recent ruminations on life, he turned to the Big Data subject.
Here’s Jim’s summary:
A revolution that compares with the impact of the Internet is changing the way that business, politics, health, education – almost everything – is being conducted. It is pervasive to the extent that everyone knows that it’s there, but no one can do anything to stop encroachment Every digital process that surrounds everybody at all times generates data: messages, updates, images posted to social networks; readings from sensors; GPS signals from cell phones. What’s revolutionary is that something can now be done with the data. Online retailers develop algorithms to predict what individual customers like, performing better every time recommendations get a response or are ignored. Political campaigns analyze large datasets to create predictions, giving data-savvy campaigns a major advantage. Big data has become the basis of competition and growth.
What with sensors everywhere, all that data must go somewhere in order to be useful. The consumer domain has been struggling with this. And it is all so debatable. Is is service or invasion of privacy for all these consumer companies to compile all that data about us? On the one hand, they hope to serve us ads and information that would be relevant to what we’re interested in. On the other, what if a nefarious agent–say the Department of Homeland Security or the local police–grabbed all that data and then trumped up charges against us?
In the manufacturing/industrial domain, ubiquitous sensors and massive amounts of data are old hat. But…are historians adequate to the tasks required by modern manufacturing methods? What do we need to learn and incorporate from the new database technologies from consumer big data? Who is working on that? This is crucial to the success of Industrial Internet of Things.
Anyway, check out Jim and debate with him–he loves that!