Who Owns the Data?

Historically, companies within the aerospace and aviation ecosystem have competed within their own separate verticals, but as changes in technology and digitalization have amplified the significance of data, the concept of separate verticals has greyed.

In their article The Data Science Revolution That’s Transforming Aviation on Forbes.com, Sebastien Maire and Chris Spafford stated that: "By 2026, annual data generation should reach 98 billion gigabytes, or 98 million terabytes, according to a 2016 estimate by Oliver Wyman. The newest generation aircraft by then will be spewing out between five and eight terabytes per flight, up to 80 times what older planes today generate."

As this quote shows, the amount of data coming from the aerospace and aviation ecosystem is enormous and will only continue to grow. This data has significant value in terms of better understanding the manufacturing process, route optimization, passenger preferences, maintenance requirements, and security.

Given the cross-vertical value add and interconnectivity of the ecosystem, a key question emerges: Who owns the data?

For now, the answer to this question is quite elusive and has led to the advent of new platforms and cross-vertical partnerships. For example, Airbus, an OEM, has created a platform called Skywise, which provides additional value to the operator and maintenance verticals and sub-verticals. The objective of Skywise is to amass data from various airline sources, including work orders, spares consumption, components data, aircraft/fleet configuration, onboard sensor data, flight schedules, and additional data (Airbus.com) to assist customers in improving performance and profitability.

Mazars expects this type of inter-vertical collaboration to become more common as companies throughout the aerospace and aviation ecosystem look to extract as much value as possible from digitalization. Because of this, we view aerospace and aviation as an interconnected ecosystem of industry, operators, airports, and financers. By doing so, we understand how the needs of the end customer and changes in consumer behavior impact companies participating at various segments of the ecosystem and strive to help them manage successful long-term profitability and relevance.