Given the availability of cheap sensors and data storage, and modern data infrastructures such as the Internet of Things, more and more information about a product’s lifetime, degradation and performance in the field are available. Also, new types of data, such as online product reviews and weather data, are now easily accessible.
These massive streams of data are a rich source of information for understanding and improving the reliability of products and for optimizing a maintenance strategy. They complement reliability testing, and may sometimes even be a cheaper alternative. They also create challenges for reliability engineers, in handling larger and less structured data sources, and in combining multiple data sources, possibly of various types, in a meaningful way.