The missing puzzle piece - is engineered wood ready for big data?
Young, T. M.  2018.  Engineered Wood Journal, 21(2):64.

Predictive analytics, data mining and the use of big data has become paramount in today’s business world for competitive advantage. While this a prerequisite for online businesses such as, Google, Netflix, Travelocity and Amazon, (almost everyone has ordered something from Amazon!), this technology can offer a competitive advantage for the engineered panel industry as well. It can be the new “disruptive innovation” in a commodity-based industry to lower costs while simultaneously improving product quality. Many engineered panel manufacturers in North America are looking into the use of data mining and big data for a more competitive advantage. But are they going about it in a way that will produce the best results? Applying data science to engineered panel manufacture is not attainable without good data quality and digital data integration. Data can only provide value if it has good quality. Specifically, is it correct, reliable and complete? A shortcoming of deriving value from data in the engineered panel industries is the lack of availability of an integrated data system. In most companies, the destructive test data cannot be easily aligned with the process data stored from programmable logic controllers (PLC) in the data warehouse. Another shortcoming is that data stored in the data warehouse come from sensors, and such data are not aligned in time as related to the time at which fiber and materials flow through the process towards the pressing endpoint. For data science to provide a competitive advantage, it must be included in a company’s continuous improvement programs, also known as Total Quality Data Management. Data science is the missing piece of the puzzle for the engineered panel industries.