Big Data, and Why it Matters to Manufacturers

“Only when businesses create a culture that empowers everyone to have access to data and insight that drive actions will they be positioned to truly transform.”
– Colin Masson, Global Industry Director for Manufacturing and Distribution at Microsoft

As technological advancements are made in manufacturing, companies are embracing data as a key component of their business strategies. In fact, according to a 2016 Honeywell study, 68 percent of manufacturers are currently investing in data analytics, while 46 percent say implementing these processes is no longer optional in our fast-changing world.

But does big data bring real benefits to the table, and is it really worth your time and money?


Analytics often come in the form of dashboards, which can provide information about nearly every aspect of your business, including supply chain, quality management, sales and marketing, and administration. Having this information at your disposal equips you with tools necessary to make better, more well-informed decisions – not just in six months or one year from now, but often in real time.

For example, with the appropriate systems in place, a single dashboard is capable of detecting and analyzing product defects by type, time, region, and other factors. Think of how this method of monitoring would allow you to address quality concerns and issues more quickly, as you could find the root of the problem within a few clicks (instead of wasting money and manpower on traditional solutions that might not always get it right).

Having these capabilities also means keeping better track of equipment and employee performance. Are your machines producing less and less quality product? Are you utilizing your resources appropriately and effectively? Do you need to hire more help? Having data to support the answers to these questions can prevent key issues from arising later.

Finally, you can tailor this information to different types of employees. While owners, managers, and C-level executives may want reports and dashboards that act as summaries, it’s likely that developers, IT staff, and analysts will want different sets of data for different purposes. However, while various sets of data relate to different things within the company, all data should (at some point) be analyzed as a whole, as this is the best way to determine correlations that cause issues in several parts of the business.

Know more about how big data can play an important role in your business by calling Linda Barita at 216.391.7766 or sending us an email. Our Growth Advisory team would be happy to help you take the next step on your journey to making your plant a safer, more efficient place to work.

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