How businesses benefit from cross-border data flows

April 25, 2019 11:15
Data analysis helps airlines make preemptive maintenance and repair plans, which can boost efficiency and save costs for the firms and shorten waiting time for passengers. Photo: Reuters

Data innovations will undoubtedly benefit businesses big and small in different industries. A survey has shown that data analysis is deemed critical for small-sized American and European firms. And the reality today is that there are hardly any firms that don’t rely on cross-border data transfer.

The report has explained in detail that restrictions on cross-border data flows have affected companies in different sectors across the world. It also highlighted that traditional industries can utilize cross-border data flows to streamline operations, improve products and services, and offer benefits for customers.

For example, airlines fly across nations. Boeing is taking a lead to collect data, and analyze them to minimize flight delays and cancellations.

The US aircraft manufacturer has also created a digital tool called Airplane Health Management (AHM) for commercial airlines, which enables them to collect flight information and transmit to maintenance staff on the ground.

One engine of a Boeing 737 generates up to 20 trillion bytes data every hour. A double-engine airplane on an eight-hour flight from New York to London will thus generate 320 trillion bytes data.

Smart analysis helps airlines make preemptive maintenance and repair plans, which can help improve efficiency, save costs and shorten waiting time for passengers. Safety and services are key for airlines that often have to face unexpected delays and bad weather conditions.

Boeing has consolidated data from all around the world and helps airlines minimize potential accidents and enhance their reliability.

Similar approach has been used in smart vehicles, medical equipment and smart manufacturing. If you believe that every product can become a smart device, there is certainly no room for restriction on data flows.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 24

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.