Unleashing the power of data: Rolls-Royce’s journey to business transformation

Posted on 25 Sep 2023 by The Manufacturer

Rolls-Royce's pursuit of business transformation through data, shared in an enlightening webinar, highlights their data-driven culture, governance and technological innovation, setting a manufacturing industry example.

In the constantly shifting realm of manufacturing, maintaining a competitive edge demands continuous innovation and adaptability. Rolls-Royce, a renowned name in the aviation industry, has not only embraced change but has also harnessed data to revolutionise its operations. In an exclusive webinar hosted by Informatica, Rolls-Royce’s Applied Intelligence team shared detailed insights of their data-driven journey, and it’s nothing short of inspiring.

Rolls-Royce is a global aviation enterprise specialising in the design, construction and distribution of engines to airlines worldwide. With nearly £6bn in revenue and approximately 18,000 employees, a significant portion of the workforce engages with data on a daily basis.

Established in 2019, The Applied Intelligence team embarked on a mission to deliver value through data. Their applied digital capabilities encompass data management, data platform integration, self-serve analytics and data science. Rolls-Royce’s journey towards data-driven success manifests in its manufacturing analytics program, where the business has seen reduced scrapping with significant cost savings as a result. Productivity has improved noticeably through real-time reporting and efficient monitoring of breakdowns, helping ensure factories remain fully operational.

The team’s initial focus was on self-serve analytics, but their journey has expanded to encompass data management and the development of a strategic data platform. This platform, poised for scaling across the civil aerospace business, is a testament to their commitment to data-driven success.

Below, we share a few key highlights from the webinar, detailing Rolls-Royce’s transformational data journey.

Overcoming challenges

Rolls-Royce faced numerous challenges on their path to data excellence. Inconsistent data delivery and a reliance on disparate tools hindered efficient problem-solving. Frequently resorting to manual data extraction and analysis led to costly, one-off solutions and data silos. The lack of a unified approach to data impeded trust and consistency.

Despite substantial investments, data initiatives lacked coordination, leading to tactical solutions and inadequate returns on investment. However, the Rolls-Royce team recognised these issues as opportunities for change.

A strategic approach to data governance

Rolls-Royce responded to these initial setbacks by creating a clear vision for data, grounded in four strategic pillars:

  1. Data Management: Make data available, visible and automated, encouraging users to rely on the data platform instead of creating manual workarounds.
  2. Leadership and Culture: Build a culture of data ownership and governance by working closely with various parts of the business to increase digital capabilities.
  3. Roles and Structure: Define roles and responsibilities related to data governance and management.
  4. Data Risk and Compliance: Ensure data is treated with sensitivity and aligned with regulatory requirements.

Digital Centres

Rolls-Royce introduced Digital Centres, which serve as people-centric transformation networks. These centres evaluate the digital strengths within various business areas, create roadmaps aligned with business strategies and foster a cultural shift emphasising digital literacy. Through engagement with early adopters, the team aims to spread knowledge and promote a hub-and-spoke model for digital transformation.

The data and analytics platform

The Rolls-Royce Applied Intelligence team unveiled their data and analytics platform, a transparent, scalable and reusable architecture. This data mesh approach seamlessly integrates structured data domains and provides self-service access through various end-user tools. Data management is a core component, with predefined information and architecture patterns tailored for strategic integration.

Data governance: A non-negotiable foundation

Rolls-Royce emphasises that data governance is non-negotiable and fundamental to their platform. It underpins every aspect of their data journey, ensuring data is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. This approach empowers data scientists, who spend less time searching for data and more time delivering value.

The future of data at Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce envisions a future where data, processes and people work in harmony to drive continuous business improvement, recognising this synergy as the cornerstone to success.

In conclusion

The webinar with Rolls-Royce showcases an inspiring journey of transformation through data. Their dedication to building a data-driven culture, coupled with robust governance and cutting-edge technology, demonstrates the immense potential of data in the manufacturing community.

This webinar is a must-watch for anyone in the industry seeking to harness the power of data for business excellence. So, sit back and let Rolls-Royce guide you through their remarkable data-driven journey.

Watch the full webinar with Rolls Royce and Informatica, here.

About the author

Steve Holyer, Informatica

Steve is a dynamic data leader with a passion for helping customers harness the power of data to drive organisational success. He is a relentless advocate for data-driven decision-making.