What are the benefits of data analytics in manufacturing?

Manufacturing has long been described as the world’s economic engine. Data is becoming one of the most important ways of keeping the manufacturing engine ticking. Through the use of data, businesses are discovering new information every day that is informing their decisions and building a pathway to more effective processes. This, of course, presents businesses with a range of opportunities, as perfecting data analytics opens a portal to better processes, greater insight and evidence-based decision making. In the following article, we take you through some of the most significant benefits of data analytics in manufacturing that will help you get the most from your current processes.


Data-insight and visibility

Data analytics is one of the key components needed for any business that wants to be competitive in a post-Brexit, COVID-19 world. Without it, you deprive yourself of minute-by-minute data on the most essential business functions. In this scenario, all-to-often, your decision making is based on clearing up the mess rather than anticipating it. Perhaps the key benefit of data analytics is the increased visibility open to decision makers. The adoption of real-time data allows you to be more proactive.

This comes from having greater insight of your business operations. Rather than relying on reports that are drawn up after an event has happened, you can view information that illuminates every aspect of your business, from the shop floor, to your inventory and supply chains. Once you have the data insight, you can take the appropriate actions. By processing information as it happens and drawing informed conclusions, you can resolve any problem before it becomes a crisis.


Data and ease of use

Unfortunately, for some small-to-midsize businesses, data has proved to be a stumbling block. This is because it has often required some specialist expertise to turn the data into insight that can be acted upon. Thankfully, data tools are becoming much easier to use and their interoperability with modern ERP systems has made them more accessible than ever. It’s now possible for managers and decision makers to dig more deeply than ever before to eliminate a substantial number of tactical challenges. The key is to use your analytics to move gradually from information to optimization, all the while increasing the value brought to your business.

This starts with simple operational reports that shines a torch on your business functions and tells you what is happening. You can then progress through descriptive and diagnostic analytics that begin to uncover why a certain problem is occurring. The ultimate aim of course is to reach a stage of predictive analysis: when you can predict what is going to happen through machine learning and greater insight and then act upon it. Only once you reach this stage can you consider your analytics fully utilised.


Using data to improve business processes

Keeping in mind the interconnectivity of the modern, global business environment, it is no surprise that processes and supply chains have become increasingly complex. While globalisation comes with many benefits for businesses, paring down these processes is a persistent challenge. Of course, any attempt to streamline or optimize requires data insight to back it up. This allows you to objectively consider each process in minute detail and make a disinterested resolution.

The benefit of data analytics is that it allows you to zoom in on each segment of your production, supply chains, inventory and much more, and consider specific tasks and components. In doing so, you’ll get a grip for what’s working well and what’s underperforming. You’ll also be able to address limitations with alternative strategies.


What to look for from data-analytics

You’ve considered the benefit of data analytics but what should you look for when making a purchase? Most businesses want a solution that provides a ready-to-go solution straight out of the box. In an ideal world, you won’t need specially trained experts to operate or interpret your data. Therefore a pre-built analytics solution is usually the way to go. Having said that, make sure there is flexibility to customize, build your own views, reports, and dashboards as you become more confident. Finally, make sure you ask your ERP provider about their support for predictive analysis and get familiar with their roadmap and vision for how it could work in your business. They should be able to offer guidance at every stage.

Did you find this article helpful? Would you like to learn more about the benefits of data analytics in manufacturing? If so, please get in touch here to speak to one of our expert consultants.


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