Interview with Laurent, Director of the "Data Services" Program at Safran Analytics
Laurent is the Director of the "Data Services" program, a job at the center of Safran Analytics' strategy and which benefits the Group's various companies.
1) How would you define the term "Data Services"?
To explain what the term "Data Services" means, I would first like to remind you of Safran Analytics' mission, which is to establish data as a growth driver for the Group. In other words, we use data to seek concrete solutions that bring value to our manufacturing processes, our service offerings and much more.
Our operations with Group companies are organized around two programs: "Manufacturing", which involves solving problems in relation to manufacturing, for example to reduce the scrap rate through data analysis and use. And the "Services" program, which involves using data to optimize service contracts and reduce their risks. This includes the use of operational information such as flight data.
The Data Services program was launched in September 2017. We are working with companies on their priority topics, and we have identified four "building blocks" that will be useful not only for the Data Services project but also for other areas of data work:
1. The first is "Data Hub Aero": this product, which has been developed by Safran Analytics since 2016, provides a means of acquiring external data (air traffic, weather, pollution, etc.), improving their quality (cleaning, fusion, completeness, etc.) and making them available to Group companies.
2. The second block is tools and platforms: what processing platforms and tools should be set up within the Group to process big data?
3. The third block focuses on the connectivity of internal and flight data: how to acquire them and make them available to the Group.
4. The last block is data governance: how to organize data collection and use?
We have created a network to pool similar requests and to exchange good practices, define common methods and tools.
2) What does your job involve? And why is it important for Safran?
My role as Director of this program is to help with each company to define the data strategy, i.e. the drawing up of a roadmap to boost the fulfillment of business objectives through the use of data based on the priority needs of each company. This step has already been completed with Safran Aircraft Engines, Safran Helicopter Engines and Safran Electrical & Power, and we are continuing this work with the other companies.
Working in close collaboration with my counterpart in each company, I am also tasked with defining the scope of the work to be carried out, the deliverables to be achieved for the building blocks mentioned above and for the pilot projects.
Safran Analytics plays an important role in the Group because we provide skills and expertise in relation to data, which provides a means of working alongside companies to find solutions to their problems.
We also have a group-wide and global vision that allows us to link common issues and take advantage of the feedback from each case in order to create overall consistency in the approaches.
3) Can you provide us with some examples of achievements that have been made within the framework of the "Data Services" program?
We currently have two pilot projects that began in December 2017 and June 2018 respectively, with initial results expected by the end of 2018.
The first involves Safran Aircraft Engines and one of its service contracts for an airline that has a large fleet of aircraft powered by CFM engines. We started by identifying all the operational data available from the contract, the airline, the engines and so on. The ultimate goal is to improve the business plan of this service contract. Our role is to assist the program manager who follows these engines by providing indicators and analyzes that will allow them to make decisions more quickly, for example, to optimize the engine removal plan.
The second pilot project is being carried out with Safran Electrical & Power and involves a health-monitoring project. We identify different data to better anticipate equipment damage and evaluate the removal plan before any breakdowns occur.
4) How did you get into this job and what was your career path?
I have been with the Group for 25 years, and for 10 years I was in charge of developing inertial power plants within Safran Electronics & Defense. I then took care of the Avionics Division's R&T programs. In this capacity, I worked on Safran Electronics & Defense's strategy for the acquisition and use of aircraft flight data.
In 2012, I joined Safran SA and its Innovation Department to manage a cross-functional program, SGDS (Safran Global Data Service), which brought together Safran Aircraft Engines and Safran Helicopter Engines.
In 2015, I joined Safran Analytics in the Programs Department. To manage this type of cross-functional program, it is important to be able to understand the business challenges of the Group's companies, the needs and constraints of the various players and to bring them together around a shared project. You also need to have a good overview of the data chain, from data acquisition to data use, to know where to find it and how to transfer it from the airline to Safran.
5) What do you like the most about this job?
What dives me is to understand the need of companies and to identify the added value that we will bring to them.
Building such projects with our Safran Analytics experts and the professions of the Group's various companies gives me a great deal of satisfaction.
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