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Data Analytics Use Maturing Among Manufacturers

Manufacturing Intelligence
March 12, 2019

The face of manufacturing looks very different in 2019 than it did 10 years ago; increased competition, downward pricing pressures, tougher supply chain requirements, ageing infrastructure, and a diminishing manufacturing workforce—manufacturers have been challenged to look for ways to do more with less in order to remain competitive. Many have realized that efficient consumption of business data via a data analytics tool (hereafter referred to simply as ‘analytics’) offers yet another way to discover hidden opportunities to drive efficiency. The challenge has been unlocking this (usually siloed) data throughout the organization. Recently, we’ve seen a shift in this landscape as more manufacturers modernize and digitizing the systems that run their businesses.

The 2019 State of Manufacturing Technology survey revealed that one in three respondents are already using Analytics today—only 13 percent said they aren’t currently using Analytics and have no plans to do so. When compared to previous years, we see that this is a huge drop in the number of manufacturers who don’t use Analytics: 48 percent in 2017, 61 percent in 2015, and 62 percent in 2015. There is definitely a maturation taking place among manufacturers who see the value of Analytics.

We expect to see the use of Analytics in manufacturing to grow by another 20 percent over the next five. While most manufacturers today are using Analytics for management insight (78 percent), we believe there is a huge opportunity in leveraging data from shop floors for operational insights. As the use of business Analytics continues to mature and more manufacturers continue to digitize their systems, we will begin to see more companies tapping into the data generated by machines, sensors, and tools to augment and accelerate shop floor decisions on production, process, efficiency, quality, safety, etc.

Those manufacturers who have invested in a cloud ERP systems that enables them to “turn on” operational analytics as a component of their system on record will be farther ahead. Those manufacturers will be able to integrate operational analytics more deeply to machines and enable access to non-data scientists so operations managers, quality managers, and plant managers can leverage dashboards to drive efficiency like management does on the business side today.

Manufacturers that have invested in systems that simplify data discovery and consumption through a single system of record (shop floor to top floor), and are able to leverage the power of that data through Analytics will find themselves farther ahead of competition in this evolving manufacturing landscape. Their ability to give every plant manager, operations leader, and machine operator the contextual insights to augment and accelerate decision making will create the habits necessary for their enterprises to not only delivery business agility and responsiveness, but also consume future manufacturing innovation.

About the Author

Anurag Garg VP and Head of Analytics & IoT, Plex Systems

Anurag Garg is the Vice President and head of Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) at Plex Systems, and is responsible for strategy and delivery of Plex’s Connected Manufacturing and IntelliPlex products. As the former co-founder and CEO of DATTUS, which Plex acquired in 2018, Anurag has been featured in Pumps and Systems, Smart Industry, and Manufacturing Automation. He was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2017, included in the list of 40 under 40 Midwest Energy Leaders by Midwest Energy News in 2016, and named a Clean Energy Power Player by environmental entrepreneurial group E2C in the same year. Anurag received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Purdue University, both in electrical engineering, and dropped out of his PhD program in pursuit of entrepreneurial endeavors.