G.E., since its inception, has always been an innovator. And for good reason, the company was founded by one of the world’s greatest innovators – Thomas Edison. And, from a market perspective, the only thing Edison understood better than innovation, was how to make money off those innovations. G.E. has been setting the bar for that for decades as well.
But General Electric also knows how to take its time, how to do its research and pick winners. Perhaps that is why the company waited a bit to jump into the Big Data marketplace. Was this technology worth a big investment, or was it simply another flash in the pan?
G.E. has been working on a way to capture and monetize a section of the “Internet of Things” – the world in which sensors feed data into central repositories which, in turn, analyze these massive amounts of data looking for connections – for three years. The project has been a major focus of CEO Jeff Immelt. To date, G.E. has looked at ways to use Big Data Analysis to create more efficient maintenance, and better asset tracking and pattern recognition. But industry watchdogs wondered if they actually found a way to viably monetize these areas of interest.
Recently, G.E. weighed in on that question in a big way. According to the New York Times, revenue from G.E.’s Internet of Things business will top $1.1 billion in 2014. The Times went on to say this may very well be the fastest ANY G.E. initiative has surpassed the billion-dollar mark.
Just how big was G.E.’s commitment to Big Data? Well, they achieved this massive cash flow by using entirely sensor-quipped G.E. machines. The numbers are staggering. Fifty million pieces of data gathered from ten million sensors, all developed by G.E. equipment worth more than $1 trillion.
And that’s just the first step. In 2015 G.E. has announced it will connect its proprietary Big Data product, Predix, to equipment manufactured by other companies. Further, the company will allow these and other companies to build their own custom software to interface and run Predix.
Seems like industry leader and committed innovator General Electric has fully embraced the benefits of Big Data. What about you?