By Peter High, published on Forbes
When Boeing CIO Ted Colbert added the title of SVP of Information and Analytics to his role, there was good reason for the promotion. Ted is a champion of data analytics within the company and is the driving force behind Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ (BCA) Digital Flight Deck. While the use of analytic models is common within the airplane business, the Digital Flight Deck is a model of models. More specifically, the Digital Flight Deck stitches together a cluster of digital and analytics tools to create an end-to-end digital twin of the business, enabling BCA leadership to simulate higher-level business scenarios. The Digital Flight Deck is actively assisting the BCA leadership with rate increase decisions for the 737 and 787, where a rate increase of 10-15% would result in $6-9 billion in revenue. Further, because it is completely digital, the Digital Flight Deck saves approximately one hundred-person months’ of manual data collection and chart creation every month.
When asked about Ted’s contribution and the Digital Flight Deck, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg noted, “Boeing has more innovation and development underway than at any time in our history—including in how we apply information and data capabilities to the aerospace market. The BCA Digital Flight Deck is a great example of how we’re bringing data into every part of our decision-making process to increase productivity and value.”
Peter High: Please describe the innovative idea that you and your team in IT pursued.
Ted Colbert: The Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ (BCA) Digital Flight Deck was conceptualized as a cluster of real-time digital models coming together to form a digital thread that runs end-to-end through BCA – starting with Sales & Marketing all the way to Production and Delivery.
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