The Design of Open Engineering Systems Lab

University at Buffalo - The State University of New York

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Design Analytics: Capturing, Understanding, and Meeting Customer Needs Using Big Data

Research Area: Research Publication Year: 2012
Type of Publication: Proceedings
Authors: Horn, David Van; Olewnik, Andrew; Lewis, Kemper
Series: DETC2012-71038
Publisher: ASME IDETC, Chicago, IL
Abstract:
The evolution of design thinking has seen numerous challenges and advances in transforming information into knowledge for engineers to design systems, products, and processes. These transformations occur in three stages throughout a design process. In simple form, the early, middle, and late stages of a design process serve to develop an understanding of the customer’s needs, arrive at the final concept of the design, and analyze and support the performance and usage profile of the deployed product, respectively. The quality and accuracy of the input information and the effectiveness of each transformation determine the success or failure of the product. Capturing good information and converting it to knowledge are two important tasks that have motivated a long history of research in design processes and tools. In this paper, we propose Design Analytics (DA) as a new paradigm for significantly enhancing the core information-to-knowledge transformations. The overall aim is to capture, store, and leverage digital information about artifacts, their performance, and their usage. The information is transformed into knowledge in each of the three stages using various analytics and cyber-enabled tools such as design repositories and concept generators. The ultimate result is better performing and functioning products. As web analytics has transformed how companies interact with consumers on the internet, we expect DA to transform how companies design products with and for consumers. An illustrative case study is performed to demonstrate some of the foundations of DA in the redesign of a refrigerator.

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