Engineering outcomes depend on the storage, communication and retrieval of correct engineering numbers. While other kinds of businesses communicate with words and budgetary figures, engineering businesses must also communicate the measured or designed values associated with their products. These values are statements of measurement, but they are also the intellectual property and star assets of an engineering organization. Modern information technology has offered no direct support for the enterprise-wide traceability, reliability, and storage of these valuable assets. It is time to stop treating these assets as just digits, with descriptions left to comments, footnotes and spreadsheet labels.

A number by any other name

Engineering values are not just digits: they have quantities, units, meaning and context. The numerical part of a statement of measurement is meaningless when separated from these properties.  Use your own terminology, domain-specific language, or properties.  Store information about how values connect or are derived from other truenumbers. This information will propagate along with the normal use of facts in your work. Truenumbers can arise from design, propagate to purchasing, be used in validation reports, anywhere that critical values appear.

Natural, secure tagging

The truenumbers system transcends traditional data storage by speaking the same language as human knowledge workers. Business and design facts such as "Acme Corp's annual revenue in EMEA for 2014 is 20.76M" or the "yield strength of S275 Steel = 275 N/mm^2 (at a thickness of less than 16 mm)" are encapsulated as truenumbers on the fly in Excel or Word. They will be stored, can have additional notes applied, and be reused through copy and paste - even in email. 

Truenumbers also retain semantic knowledge about concepts such as revenue or yield strength, allowing them to be validated against units and through calculations. Results from these calculations create new truenumbers, perpetuating the audit trail, and even helping to convert them if necessary. 

When you are keeping a fleet of sophisticated military airplanes flying ... a simple calculation that goes unchecked can have catastrophic results. With truenumbers, we will be able to manage and share critical data, including design parameters and materials properties, ensuring that anyone on the team can easily get the most up-to-date information.
— Ricardo Garcia, Naval Air Systems Command

Minting a truenumber

Truenumbers is a data service that encapsulates facts like those above. Truenumbers can be created in the course of normal workflows in Microsoft Office apps. They can be reused simply by copying and pasting them - even in emails. Truenumbers are protected from change, and can be traced back to original source. Creating an audit trail is actually easier with truenumbers in the normal workflow than it would be to create it after the fact or with specialized and redundant data entry systems. 

Let's illustrate with a cost estimate for building a new data center.  Truenumbers uses a simple syntax that's natural and easy to learn.  We write "estimated construction cost of the new data center = 35 USD millions".

MakeTnum1.gif

TrueOffice sends this to the cloud where it's interpreted, stored and returned to your spreadsheet cell as a truenumber.  The cell gets a comment for convenience, but the same metadata stays locked inside the truenumber too, like DNA.

The truenumber still looks like "35" to Excel, so the spreadsheet will work normally for any Excel users without TrueOffice.   Copy it to Word or email and it maintains its DNA.

 

Not just safer, it's a game changer

In today’s fast-paced environment of innovation and change in engineering industries, companies must keep tabs on all the aspects of their designs to remain competitive. Truenumbers will ensure traceability, and reusability in engineering design, translating into an important ROI for the organization that uses them.