Toward a smarter industry

Explores how data-driven decisions are generating secondary benefits.

By Thomas Wilk, Plant Services editor in chief

Back in the ’90s, I had the chance to simultaneously teach for The Ohio State University and work with the environmental restoration team at Battelle Memorial Institute. Part of what made those years so interesting (beyond the rise and fall of grunge music) was that each of those jobs informed the other.

By day, I helped turn data from soil, groundwater, and sediment samples into risk assessments that would pass muster with federal, state, and local regulatory bodies. By night, I took what I learned at Battelle to coach engineers and other science majors in the finer points of scientific and persuasive writing. The next morning it would be back to work on reports, but with a better appreciation of the types of audiences I was trying to reach, thanks to working with so many different science majors.

The sessions at this year’s Smart Industry event reminded me of those experiences. Specifically, I was struck by how many presenters went beyond the digital transformation projects they had embarked on, and emphasized the secondary benefits they discovered along the way.

Read the full piece at our sister publication, Plant Services, right here.

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