How to Choose the Right Manufacturing Analytics Solution? 

How to Choose the Right Manufacturing Analytics Solution? 

By Marta Teneva

December 21, 2023

In an era where data-driven decision-making forms the cornerstone of competitive advantage, choosing the right manufacturing analytics solution for your operations can mean the difference between staying ahead or falling behind.  

This choice isn’t merely about selecting software—it’s about aligning business strategies, fostering operational excellence, and ensuring future growth.  

An effective analytics solution not only helps executives understand current manufacturing processes but also provides foresight, allowing them to strategize for market shifts, technological advancements, and evolving customer demands. As the complexities of manufacturing grow, so does the necessity for advanced analytical tools. 

With that in mind, picking an optimal analytics solution for manufacturing demands a careful review of several factors to ensure it fits your unique business requirements and aspirations. Here are the steps to help you make the right decision. 

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Key Steps to Selecting the Best Manufacturing Analytics Solution for Your Business

Outline Business Goals 

Start by pinpointing the primary business goals the analytics tool is expected to address. Identify specific areas of improvement, be it in operational efficiency, quality assurance, supply chain management, or predictive maintenance. 

Understand Data Requirements  

Analyze the types and volume of data present in the manufacturing setting. Reflect on the data sources, encompassing machine sensors, production systems, quality control checkpoints, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) frameworks. Determine the data integration needs of the analytics tool to ensure it matches the existing data infrastructure. 

Examine Analytics Capabilities 

Identify the necessary analytical features to fulfill the outlined goals. These features can encompass descriptive analytics (like reporting and visualization), diagnostic analytics (for root cause identification), predictive analytics (for forecasting and anomaly detection), and prescriptive analytics (offering actionable recommendations). 

Discover more: 5 Global Manufacturing Trends You Need to Know 

Assess Scalability and Flexibility 

Weigh the analytics tool’s scalability and adaptability. Check its ability to manage increasing data loads, support potential business growth, and modify as per evolving analytical demands. Seek modular or customizable tools to accommodate shifting requirements. 

Ensure Compatibility with Existing Systems 

Inspect how well the analytics tool integrates with current systems, including enterprise resource planning (ERP), manufacturing execution systems (MES), and data storage solutions. Smooth integration is vital for streamlined data flow, effective information sharing, and a comprehensive view of manufacturing operations. 

Consider Overall Costs 

Contemplate the costs involved, covering initial expenses, licensing, recurring maintenance, and other related costs. Evaluate the potential return on investment (ROI) and the sustained value the analytics tool offers. 

Engage in Test Runs and Concept Trials 

Conduct test sessions or undertake concept trials to assess the tool’s practical efficiency in a typical manufacturing environment when possible. This practice confirms its suitability and ensures alignment with organizational needs and expectations. 

Look for Intuitive Interfaces and Training Support 

A user-friendly interface encourages wider adoption, enabling users to access and decode data insights easily. Evaluate available training resources and support to ensure streamlined user integration and continued skill development. 

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Top 5 Manufacturing Analytics Software 

Leveraging data analytics to enhance operations has been a standard practice for many manufacturers. However, numerous firms operate on an on-site infrastructure that falls short in handling, storing, and analyzing the vast and diverse data produced by modern manufacturing processes. 

Qlik 

Qlik boasts an intuitive interface, enabling the effortless creation of visualizations and dashboards to analyze data from diverse sources. Its robust data integration features deliver actionable insights.  

Highlighted features include: 

  • A dependable and scalable platform for team collaboration and insights sharing. 
  • Facilitates tracking of key performance indicators, production methodologies, and supply chain operations. 
  • Offers data consolidation from various sources, producing dynamic dashboards. 
  • Qlik Sense provides immediate data exploration, trend spotting, and pattern recognition for a comprehensive view of your manufacturing landscape. 

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Tableau 

Tableau is renowned for its suite of business intelligence tools, facilitating dynamic and interactive data dashboard designs. Furthermore, with its drag-and-drop functionality, Tableau is approachable even for beginners. It’s crafted to enable teams to present data efficiently.  

Highlighted features of Tableau include: 

  • Rapid visualization that enables users to swiftly create and modify visualizations through an intuitive interface.  
  • Data blending that allows seamless integration of data from various sources, offering a holistic view.  
  • Advanced collaboration tools that facilitate the sharing of insights and dashboards with team members for collaborative decision-making.  
  • Mobile responsiveness of dashboards that adjust and perform efficiently on mobile devices, ensuring access to insights anytime, anywhere. 

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Microsoft Power BI 

Microsoft Power BI delivers interactive visualizations and timely insights. It’s a tool to gather, assess, and visualize real-time manufacturing data, highlighting patterns and irregularities.  

Power BI supports data-driven decision-making, leading to heightened operational efficacy, cost reductions, and superior customer experiences.  

Key features include:  

  • Real-time monitoring of manufacturing operations to pinpoint inefficiencies and manage expenses.  
  • Built-in security and compliance measures safeguarding sensitive data.  
  • Equipped with ready-made data overview templates. 

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Snowflake 

The Snowflake Data Cloud offers nearly limitless storage and computing capabilities, allowing manufacturers to collect data in structured, semi-structured, or unstructured formats. This robust platform ensures teams can access and analyze data promptly, without the hassle of integration and interoperability issues. Additionally, the Snowflake Marketplace provides access to live third-party data, augmenting your proprietary data sources.  

Highlighted features of Snowflake include: 

  • Dynamic Scaling: Provides the ability to scale computing resources up or down instantly, based on workload needs.  
  • Zero Maintenance: Automates tasks like indexing, partitioning, and backups, freeing up time for data analysis.  
  • Data Sharing: Offers secure and immediate data sharing capabilities with external partners, without the need for data movement or copies.  
  • Multi-Cloud Support: Compatible with various cloud providers, offering flexibility and disaster recovery options.  
Over a third of companies (33.4%) will migrate from legacy enterprise software to cloud-based tools in 2023.

If you want to gain an in-depth understanding of cloud data management, its benefits & risks, and explore the best strategies, platforms & practices, download our free eBook: The Ultimate Cloud Data Management Guide for Executives

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SAS 

SAS provides a spectrum of analytics solutions tailored for sectors like manufacturing, finance, and healthcare. It converts vast data sets into immediate, actionable insights conducive to performance betterment and growth stimulation.  

Key features include:  

  • Predictive maintenance features that reduce downtime, avert equipment breakdowns and optimize equipment use.  
  • A data blueprint that integrates diverse data pools to automatically pinpoint the process elements influencing energy consumption most significantly.  
  • SAS is pivotal in slashing warranty costs through data analysis and prompt alerts. 

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Select the Optimal Analytics Solution with B EYE 

In the dynamic landscape of manufacturing, selecting the perfect analytics solution isn’t just about tools—it’s about transforming data into strategic action. B EYE, with its deep-rooted industry knowledge, is uniquely positioned to guide you in this crucial decision. Since 2012, we’ve been helping Fortune 500 companies navigate this choice, ensuring they leverage the best solutions for their business needs. Don’t start this journey alone; partner with our experts and optimize your manufacturing analytics. Ready to make an informed choice? 

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