Digital Transformation is changing the way we make business decisions. People in charge of operations are looking to validate their findings based on data and insights. In the past, decisions were made on visible information, the content available to savvy, experienced employees and based on a certain intuition. The quality of decisions that drove business varied greatly with time and the skill level of the employees. With the advent of IoT and network infrastructure, IT and OT are converging, bringing the opportunity to help narrow the variation by providing insights and information that drive better decisions.
IoT sensors provide copious amounts of data. The data itself becomes a commodity. So, where’s the value? The value lies in contextualizing the data and providing clear and crisp insights and reaffirming or contradicting “gut” feelings with evidence.
NTT has come up with three useful indices that enable decision-makers to make better decisions: Quality of Stay, Quality of Access, and Risk Index. The main idea is to associate vague, intuitive gut feelings with measurable quantitative indices. These indices act as a knob that decision-makers can turn to process the implications of their decisions as time progresses to make better and consistent choices.
Quality of Stay (QoS)
Quality of Stay is an index that measures the experience, comfort, sustainability, and productivity within an environment. There are two key elements to this. First, the environment could be an office space, a bus, a hospital waiting room, or a factory floor. What is it about the environment that increases its value? Second, the actor, which in most cases would be a human. It’s either a customer, employee or visitor. The actor could also be the goods or material whose value needs to be enhanced. One example of this would be fresh produce in a freezer or an environment where its longevity needs to be preserved.
‘Quality of Stay’ relates to when humans want to be in a given place (e.g. building, office, factory, place of interest) feeling comfortable and productive.
This index can answer questions related to the different senses, such as:
- Is the place too crowded? – Occupancy level
- Is it too loud or too quiet? – Noise level
- Are temperature and humidity comfortable? – Environmental/weather conditions
The next question is how do we quantify the qualitative aspect? This is done by associating measurements with the five senses. Not all the five senses may be applicable. Using sensors that replicate the human senses and contextual data such as weather and local events, you can create an index over time and give a really good idea of the desirability of the environment. The efficacy of this index can be measured by any change and its correlation to returning customers or employees or, in the case of produce, an increase in its longevity.
Quality of Access (QoA)
Quality of Access is an index that measures access to resources in an environment such as a city, building, factory, or hospital. The idea here is to measure how readily common resources are available to the users to be productive in any environment. If we take the example of an office or a hospital, the availability of elevators and wait times are significant in boosting customer experience or productivity. In a factory setting, this might be the availability of intra-building buses, carts, or forklifts. It is possible to add more resources or make timing-based adjustments to these resources by measuring the wait times. Another factor at play is the experience of the subjects while using the said resources. You can measure if the bus or elevators are too crowded. The efficacy of this index can be measured by the reduction in variations in wait times and even usage of the resources. This in turn boosts productivity and reduces wastage.
Risk Index (RI)
One key component in any environment is safety. How safe do customers, employees or visitors feel while operating in the environment? Safety is often reactive. However, you can reduce risk in any environment by using smart solutions and technologies. Whether monitoring for trespassing or listening for unusual sounds, identifying leaks or spills or understanding the correlation between human and heavy machinery interaction, the risk index is a good indicator of the environment’s safety. Based on the index, organizations can implement processes to enhance safety awareness and be proactive in their approach to safety.
In the end, every customer has a unique set of challenges that need insights and recommendations that address them specifically. NTT helps customers leverage these elements to build delivery mechanisms that will enable the outcomes that customers choose. The dashboards or reports that drive change will be unique to the organization. Still, the underlying foundation of the NTT Smart Management Platform uses these constructs to provide meaningful contextually relevant insights that then enable positive change.