Ford has hired a former General Motors chief industry analyst to manage data collection and use it to help predict the future.
The Dearborn, Michigan, automaker on Monday announced that it has hired Paul Ballew, who most recently led global data operations at the Dun and Bradstreet analytics company.
CEO Mark Fields says Ford expects to get reams of data as more of its cars become connected to the Internet. If customers choose, the company could analyze driving patterns and predict when their car would need service, Fields said. Ford also could use real-time data to develop new products and apps, he said.
Ballew will lead teams dealing with connectivity between customers and the Internet, autonomous cars and other mobility issues, Fields said.
"It's a crystal ball, but when you have the right analytics, you can make that crystal ball a lot clearer," he said.
Ballew, 50, left GM in 2007 to establish an analytics and customer insight unit at Nationwide Insurance. He then went to Dun and Bradstreet. Before GM, he served as senior adviser on auto industry conditions at J. D. Power and Associates.