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3 Key Takeaways from Hannover Messe 2023


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Cognite was among the 4k+ exhibitors and 130k+ visitors at Hannover Messe 2023. This year’s conference was  abuzz with powerful technology demonstrations, thoughtful discussions, and a shared eagerness to shape a more digital, connected, and sustainable industry. 

Based on all the conversations we had with current and prospective customers, partners, and peers, there were three key themes that emerged over the course of the week:

  • No more appetite for technology that won't scale.
  • Contextualization is commonplace. Achieving it is not.
  • Generative AI is here, and it’s here to stay.

1. No more appetite for technology that won't scale.

During a conversation with some of the conference attendees, we discussed how manufacturers go about solving use cases given that there’s no longer an appetite for technology and solutions that won’t scale. Manufacturers want to move away from one-off lighthouse successes and “proof-of-concept purgatory,” and replicate success across their production sites.

So how do they do it? As discussed with these conference attendees, industrial change-makers need to “think big” when it comes to their digital and data ambitions for their organization.

Rather than “boiling the ocean” and seeking to achieve all aspects of this digital vision instantaneously, success starts with building a trusted data foundation. Don’t solve every problem all at once, solve the industrial data problem first. And finally, leverage this industrial data foundation to move at lightning speed, scaling proven solutions across equipment, teams, and sites. 

We’ve seen this data-centric approach to scalable value creation work consistently for the manufacturers we work with.

How Celanese uses Cognite Data Fusion® to power its “Digital Plants of the Future” →

2. Contextualization is commonplace. Achieving it is not.

Since day 1, data contextualization has been at the core of everything we do here at Cognite. At Hannover Messe, we’re proud to have seen and heard “contextualization” in the common vocabulary when showcasing and discussing industrial digitalization.

However, while it’s simple to talk about contextualization in theory, it’s anything but easy to deliver simple access to complex industrial data in practice. We heard from several folks that they had recently invested in a “contextualization” solution, which failed to deliver trusted data across their business in an efficient way.

“I want fewer people on the shop floor looking at equipment and more on the screen looking at data.”
Digital Transformation Manager when discussing his vision for leveraging cross-data source insights at our booth at Hannover Messe

Conference attendees who stopped by our stand at Hannover Messe saw first-hand how Cognite Data Fusion® makes it simple to deliver AI-powered data contextualization. As we wrote in our post about 4 Industry Predictions for 2023: “Don’t say. Don't add more buzzwords. Show. Show the user experience your SMEs can build and deliver on every time.”

3. Generative AI is here, and it’s here to stay. 

Over the past few months, Generative AI, including ChatGPT and GPT-4, has been a consistent topic among peers and in boardrooms, and this conversation continued at Hannover Messe. 

We also saw “Generative AI” mentioned on banners, slides, and screens across the conference halls. This is much more than just a temporary hype. Industrial leaders and software vendors alike believe Generative AI has the potential to ignite true transformation in the world of industry.


Conference attendees who visited our exhibition stands were eager to hear our thoughts on how or why we believe Generative AI may finally unleash the iPhone moment in digital transformation

“How do you ensure that the data you have doesn't turn into a data swamp?”

Question from a Hannover Messe attendee

Generative AI has the power to turn “data swamps” into contextualized operations insight machines by making it even simpler to surface and act upon cross-data source insights. As a result, Subject Matter Experts can gain actionable knowledge orders of magnitude more efficiently, and Generative AI can even discover new opportunities to conduct safer, more efficient, and more sustainable operations.

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