Data management and data analytics continue to become an essential part of how manufacturers conduct business. In fact, this market will reach $19.8 billion in sales by 2026, according to ABI Research.
“For many manufacturers, there is an appreciation that operational decisions need to be based on empirical evidence rather than guesswork," explains Michael Larner, Principal Analyst at ABI Research.
"The challenges are not necessarily capturing and analyzing data, rather what to analyze in the first place,” added Larner. “The findings need to have a meaningful impact on operations and so manufacturers need to take a step back and devise precise objectives.”
The report recommends that manufacturers" engage suppliers to help them prioritize activities and shape projects." The report cites examples of using data analytics to increase production, improve quality, or reduce waste.
Analyzing data has become more sophisticated with newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The report points out that suppliers' are now able to not just report data but also predict outcomes and make recommended actions.
Other developments in the arena, such as the advent of no-code/low code platforms allow staff not to have to be data scientists to utilize analytics in their roles, the report states
“While manufacturers have spent decades refining their physical production lines, today they need to expend effort in optimizing their processes for collecting and analyzing data," Larner concludes. But data should not be collected just for the sake of it.