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Big Data and Engineering: How Can You Use All of Your Information?

January 28th, 2015

One of the biggest trends in information technology revolves around the concept of “Big Data,” essentially large data stores driven by any number of sources — social media and any variety of scientific processes being some of the largest. Deriving actionable information out of the mass of Big Data has led to a growth in the importance of data analytics¬†by¬†creating a new profession known as a “data scientist.”

But what about leveraging the promise of Big Data within the practice of engineering? Let’s take a look at how some engineering professionals are making use of massive amounts of data in their jobs.

Big Data helping the Process of Mining Engineering

Mining engineers in Australia are taking advantage of the Big Data generated by the mining equipment used in the country. Faced with information overload from this data, some companies are using remote operation centers where data analysts spend their days searching for the meaningful information contained within this real-time data.

One scenario where Big Data is making a difference involves improving the time of the haul cycle where trucks pick up and deliver freshly-mined coal (or other minerals). Analysts were able to determine the issues causing trucks to be delayed. Speeding up the haul cycles by just one minute allows a fleet of 50 trucks to carry an additional 36,500 loads each year!

Improving Engineering Design with Big Data

Wired Magazine recently noted that engineers and designers are taking advantage of human behavior — translated into data points in a Big Data store — to improve their design models before the costly process of prototyping. The valuable information stored within the data offers additional context, improving the designs themselves while speeding up the creative process and helping products reach the marketplace more quickly.

If these engineering innovations derived from Big Data inspire you to take your career to the next level, talk to the experts at The Talley Group. As one of the leading engineering staffing agencies in Washington State, we remain a great source for Seattle engineering jobs. Make it a point to schedule some time with us today.

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