Navigating Manufacturing Analytics [A Complete Guide]

Navigating Manufacturing Analytics [A Complete Guide]

By Marta Teneva

December 20, 2023

The global sports analytics market is projected to reach $3.4 billion by 2028. This rising trend is partially fueled by its real-world impact, as highlighted by the influential book and subsequent movie Moneyball. The in-depth analysis of metrics related to teams and athletes has become transformative for the industry—impacting professionals on the field, court, and ice, as well as fantasy sports fans and participants in the growing online sports betting market. 

But where do you start? 

This handbook is tailored for executives, business leaders, sports management professionals, decision-makers in sports-related enterprises, and stakeholders. It aims to equip you with a thorough understanding of the sports analytics landscape and how best to leverage it. Organizations focused on data-driven decision-making and those seeking a competitive advantage in the sports sector will also find this resource valuable. 

Table of Contents

What Is Manufacturing Analytics?

Why Is Manufacturing Analytics Important?

Types of Manufacturing Analytics

Benefits of Data Analytics in Manufacturing

Goals of Manufacturing Analytics

Challenges of Implementing Manufacturing Analytics

What Are the Most Important KPIs for Manufacturers?

How to Choose the Right Manufacturing Analytics Solution?

10 Manufacturing Analytics Use Cases

Data-Driven Giants: How Big Players Optimize with Manufacturing Analytics

Best Practices for Manufacturing Analytics

5 Global Trends in Manufacturing Analytics

Manufacturing Analytics FAQs

Optimize Your Manufacturing Analytics with B EYE

What Is Manufacturing Analytics?

At its core, manufacturing analytics involves: 

  • Harnessing machine, operational, and system data to steer and enhance production processes. 
  • Covering crucial areas such as maintenance. 
  • Quality assurance. 
  • Strategic planning. 

This data-centric approach empowers manufacturers to make informed and swift decisions.  

For decades, manufacturers have tapped into data to increase efficiency and advance their market position. However, the contemporary shift lies in data collection techniques. Many companies rely on piecemeal, age-old data collection practices, where employees manually log and document operational details, complete paperwork, and note down machine maintenance records. Such traditional methods are prone to inaccuracies stemming from human oversight. Not only do they consume time, but they are also susceptible to biases, often falling short in providing the precision needed for sound decision-making.  

Fortunately, with the manufacturing sector embracing digital advancements, connected devices are already minimizing the effort of manual data logging and record-keeping. Augmented by cutting-edge analytics and sophisticated algorithms, the tech and software in play produce real-time, actionable insights.  

This newfound approach to machine data collection spearheads modern manufacturing analytics, paving the way for various progressive applications, from simple monitoring and diagnosis to predictive maintenance and orchestrating automated processes.  

a man thinking What Is Manufacturing Analytics

In manufacturing analytics, event-driven data capture can be employed to improve equipment efficiency, lower costs, improve processes, minimize human errors, and delve deep into machine accuracy and evolving production trends. 

Why Is Manufacturing Analytics Important?

Data, in itself, is one of the most important aspects of Industry 4.0. Implementing big data, machine learning, AI, etc., has enabled industries to grow exponentially and optimize their products and services towards their consumers. The manufacturing industry is no different.   

As we can derive from the benefits of manufacturing analytics, storing and analyzing big data in the manufacturing industry enables manufacturers to meet company standards for consumers. Manufacturers gain knowledge and actionable insights using manufacturing analytics software to streamline decision-making, elevate production processes, increase shop floor productivity, reduce costs, and boost revenue.  

Whether used to ensure product and inventory availability, increase equipment efficiency, or perform market analysis, data plays a crucial role in manufacturing. By grasping operational insights, manufacturers can effectively:   

  • Understand the cost and efficiency of every component in the product lifecycle.  
  • Develop systems that consistently gauge the need for repairs and provide early alerts.   
  • Gain real-time insight into how manufacturing lines operate on a micro and macro scale.  
  • Use predictive insights for smart forecasting.  
  • Optimize the warehouse with insights into efficient product flow and replenishment procedures.  

With greater visibility and insights at the point of decision, manufacturers can harness the benefits of the smart factory.  

Data stands as a central pillar in the context of Industry 4.0. Integrating big data, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and more has empowered industries to evolve and refine their client offerings, with manufacturing being no exception.  

From the numerous advantages of manufacturing analytics, it’s evident that leveraging big data within manufacturing allows manufacturers to align with company benchmarks set for the end-users. Manufacturing analytics software provides manufacturers with valuable knowledge and tangible insights that facilitate more efficient decision-making, enhance production processes, improve shop floor output, lower expenses, and boost profits.  

Whether leveraged to ensure inventory availability, increase machine efficiency, or conduct market evaluations, data remains pivotal in the manufacturing industry. Through obtaining actionable operational data, manufacturers are positioned to:  

  • Grasp the cost and efficiency of every aspect of the product lifecycle  
  • Deploy mechanisms that routinely determine maintenance needs and send proactive alerts  
  • Acquire real-time insights into the functioning of manufacturing lines, both granular and overarching  
  • Leverage predictive insights for intelligent forecasting  
  • Streamline storage spaces by understanding efficient product trajectories and restocking methods  

Through enhanced visibility and actionable insights, manufacturers can make the most of the smart factory and make better decisions.

Types of Manufacturing Analytics

Manufacturing analytics can be classified by complexity, encompassing basic and advanced methodologies, each with distinct tools and insights. 

Basic Manufacturing Analytics 

Basic manufacturing analytics primarily leverages tools like spreadsheets and basic data collection and processing algorithms. This foundational approach offers essential insights that are handy for budding enterprises. 

Advanced Manufacturing Analytics 

On the other hand, advanced manufacturing analytics calls for more complex tools. These include MRP/ERP systems, sensors, IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) instruments, and even cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).  

While basic analytics are essential, especially for new companies, as businesses evolve, their analytical aptitude grows, and this maturity often necessitates the transition to advanced analytical tools and methodologies. 

Types of Manufacturing Analytics Based on Output 

Manufacturing analytics can further be divided by the nature of their output. They range from descriptive analytics, which provides situation overviews, to diagnostic analytics, which identifies issue root causes; prescriptive analytics, which proposes solutions; and predictive analytics, which forecasts future outcomes. 

Descriptive Analytics 

Descriptive analytics uses data to describe and define events and when they have taken place. It covers material and capacity requirements planning, sales trend and bottleneck identification, cost analysis, and departmental performance evaluation. Descriptive analytics is crucial for pinpointing process changes and understanding how these changes impact the outcome. Such tools are integral components of systems like MRP/ERP software. 

Diagnostic Analytics 

As an evolution of descriptive analytics, diagnostic analytics dives deeper to discover the underlying causes of detected issues. While the former identifies the occurrence and timing of events, the latter unravels the reasons behind them. Specialized analytics platforms like Qlik use AI and ML for faster and more accurate insights. 

Prescriptive Analytics 

Prescriptive analytics, with the help of ML, AI, and advanced algorithms, proposes solution pathways for identified problems, acting almost like a recommendation system based on data insights. 

Predictive Analytics 

Predictive analytics aims to forecast what will happen by harnessing historical data and real-time inputs. This analytical domain addresses predictive maintenance, potential equipment malfunctions, and demand forecasting. It capitalizes on sophisticated instruments such as IoT sensors, state-of-the-art machine learning techniques, and comprehensive statistical software suites. 

Benefits of Data Analytics in Manufacturing

The benefits of data analytics in manufacturing are transformative, underpinning a manufacturer’s ability to enhance productivity, reduce costs, and seize competitive advantages. Let’s explore what data analytics offers to the manufacturing sector. 

Benefits Of Data Analytics In Manufacturing

Reduced Costs 

Leveraging data analytics allows streamlining of processes, leading to significant cost reductions. The advent and proliferation of robotics and the move towards autonomous or semi-autonomous machine decision-making mean labor costs can be minimized. Furthermore, with their proven track records, predictive and prescriptive maintenance initiatives diminish costs and amplify productivity by reducing downtime and refining the management of parts inventories. 

Increased Revenue 

Real-time insights accessible in production, inventory management, and demand-supply planning empower manufacturers to adapt to fluctuating demands swiftly. When data signals reach maximum capacity, manufacturers can extend working hours, augment capacity, refine processes, or tweak various production elements to maintain delivery times.

Competitive Advantage 

Quality analytics gives manufacturing businesses a competitive edge by helping them adapt to market changes quickly. By closely examining sales data, customer preferences, and market demand, companies can adjust their production to stay ahead of competitors. Imagine a manufacturer spotting a new market trend through analytics. Adjusting their production to align with this trend could give them an advantage over slower-moving competitors. Such steps often lead to a stronger brand reputation, increased market share, and higher profitability. 

Greater Customer Satisfaction 

Using quality analytics, manufacturers can better meet and even exceed customer expectations. By looking at customer feedback, warranty claims, and product returns, businesses can find areas to improve. For example, if customers point out a flaw in a product feature, thorough analytics can help trace and fix the issue. This focus on improvement can lead to happier customers, increased loyalty, and an improved brand image. The result? More sales, as satisfied customers return and recommend the product to others. 

Risk Mitigation 

In the past, manufacturing risk management mostly reacted to issues after they happened. Now, with advanced analytics, the approach has shifted to predicting and preventing risks. In a fast-changing manufacturing environment with various challenges, analytics is vital for avoiding potential risks. 

Energy Efficiency & Reduced Waste 

Regular monitoring and analysis can highlight areas where energy is wasted, leading to smarter energy use and helping both costs and the environment. Reducing waste is also crucial for manufacturers. With the help of quality analytics, they can identify and address the causes of waste, like high scrap rates or defects. Addressing these issues leads to cost savings and better profitability. 

Goals of Manufacturing Analytics

Boosting Production 

Manufacturing analytics helps businesses examine their assembly processes. By doing so, they can make decisions that enhance output, leading to greater overall production efficiency. 

Optimizing Workflows 

By using manufacturing analytics, businesses can gain insights into the effectiveness of each step in a production process. These insights allow them to introduce changes that reduce costs and increase productivity. 

Enhancing Product Quality 

Through manufacturing analytics, businesses can colect data on the quality of products they produce. Based on this data, they can make adjustments to improve product quality. 

Minimizing Downtime 

Manufacturing analytics enables businesses to monitor their production processes in real time. This rapid insight can help companies swiftly address issues, thereby reducing production downtime. 

Challenges of Implementing Manufacturing Analytics

Despite its benefits, implementing manufacturing analytics takes work.

Here are some of the most common challenges for manufacturers.

challenges of Implementing Manufacturing Analytics

Data Siloing

Data siloing occurs when data is stored in separate systems across departments or even among different employees. For instance, if production data is recorded on paper, inventory details are in spreadsheets, and sales figures are in a CRM platform. Such fragmented storage hinders the full utilization of analytics, no matter the volume of data collected. 

Inaccurate Data 

The results from any system are only as good as the data fed into it. If the input data is flawed, the analytical outputs will also be flawed. It’s vital to ensure data accuracy before processing. 

Improper Tool Usage

Relying on spreadsheets for extensive data analysis is inefficient and error-prone, especially as data volumes grow. Instead, starting with MRP/ERP software can be a foundation for comprehensive data processing and sharing. 

Resource-Intensive Tools 

While basic MRP/ERP software might be user-friendly and cost-effective, venturing into advanced tools like IIoT or specialized analytics platforms can be expensive and require specialized knowledge.  

Nevertheless, integrating manufacturing analytics is a step in the right direction for manufacturers aiming to expand. 

What Are the Most Important KPIs for Manufacturers?

Efficiency is vital in manufacturing. After all, manufacturers aim to produce goods swiftly and effectively. They monitor their production using specific key performance indicators (KPIs) to achieve this. While there are many KPIs available, some are more crucial than others.  Let’s discuss 10 of the most important KPIs for any manufacturer. 

Explore in Detail: What Are the Most Important Manufacturing KPIs?

KPIs For Manufacturers

How to Choose the Right Manufacturing Analytics Solution?

Data-driven decision-making forms competitive advantage and choosing the right analytics solution for your manufacturing 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. 

Explore in Detail: How to Choose the Right Manufacturing Analytics Solution [+ Top 5 Manufacturing Analytics Software]

10 Manufacturing Analytics Use Cases

1. Design and Product Innovation

Manufacturers aim to produce innovative products that captivate consumers. Manufacturing analytics tools play an instrumental role in aiding product design and development. These tools harness insights from engineering, customer feedback, component dependability, and quality checks to drive targeted costing and optimize the entire product lifecycle profitability. 

2. Process Efficiency Analysis 

Achieving comprehensive process efficiency goes beyond just adopting a lean manufacturing method. By taking a holistic look at every procedure, from the intricacies of product design to the activities on the production floor, manufacturers can uncover hidden inefficiencies. Manufacturing analytics tools provide vital insights into sourcing, asset readiness, work cycle durations, and schedule adherence, offering a transparent view of how operations progress. 

3. Procurement Analysis 

For manufacturing operations, precision in procurement is a cornerstone of efficiency. However, challenges like inconsistent costs across suppliers or ambiguous pricing structures can disrupt this. Manufacturing analytics tools can streamline the procurement process. These tools aid in tasks like bill of materials scrutiny, component evaluations, tracking cost trends, and formulating supplier performance assessments. All these insights together help ensure high-quality material procurement while optimizing profits.

4. Production and Quality Visibility 

Maintaining consistent oversight of production and its quality is a primary concern. Manufacturing analytics tools offer a panoramic view of the entire production cycle. They bridge data from diverse systems to ensure top-notch quality, timely deliveries, and efficiency enhancements. Such tools allow manufacturers to delve deep into quality control and identify the primary causes behind any quality issues. 

5. Machine Utilization and Efficiency Analysis 

Modern assembly lines showcase a myriad of machines, each with a distinct role. Comprehensive insights into these machines empower manufacturers to oversee their efficiency on the fly. Manufacturing analytics tools come to the fore by consolidating data from these machines, and they allow for custom visualization dashboards, which facilitate instant operational adjustments. 

6. Inventory Management and Analysis

Navigating the complexities of inventory management is a perennial challenge for manufacturers. Overstocking affects profitability, while stock shortages lead to lost sales and unsatisfied customers. Manufacturing analytics tools, with their granular dashboards, empower manufacturers to make data-driven decisions. This way, they ensure optimal inventory levels, striking a balance between surplus and deficiency. 

7. Sales and Marketing Analysis

Understanding market dynamics, customer preferences, and sales pathways is fundamental. Manufacturers must harness relevant data and derive actionable insights to elevate sales and marketing efforts. Manufacturing analytics tools offer deep insights into customer trends, inventory status, pricing models, and the overall health of the sales network, aligning product development and sales to market demands.

8. Market Potential Analysis and Demand Forecasting

Estimating the potential of a market for a new product determines a manufacturing venture’s success. Market potential analysis involves evaluating the market’s size, growth trajectory, competitive landscape, and more. Manufacturing analytics tools enable manufacturers to sift through data, pinpoint lucrative market segments, and allocate resources for maximum returns. 

9. End-to-End Supply Chain Visibility 

Supply chains have evolved into complex webs in today’s globalized manufacturing landscape. Overcoming this complexity requires a clear overview of the entire supply chain. Manufacturing analytics tools offer in-depth analysis, help manage global networks, collaborate with third-party service providers, ensure product traceability, curb volatility, and manage costs efficiently. 

10. Warehouse Optimization and Analysis 

In manufacturing, the strategic use of warehouse space plays a pivotal role, especially when space is a premium asset. Manufacturing analytics tools shed light on warehouse operations, highlighting product flow dynamics, storage strategies, and retrieval practices. With these insights at their disposal, manufacturers can ensure optimal space utilization and handle materials effectively, adapting to evolving storage needs. 

Warehouse Optimization And Analysis

Data-Driven Giants: How Big Players Optimize with Manufacturing Analytics

In today’s highly competitive industrial landscape, integrating manufacturing analytics is of major importance.   

Embracing the power of data and analytics allows industry titans to push the boundaries of what’s possible, optimize their processes, and deliver unparalleled value to their customers.   

By exploring real-world applications, we can better understand how top companies leverage these tools to maintain their edge.   

Let’s take a look at some of the trailblazers in various sectors and how they harness the power of manufacturing analytics: Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW Group, Siemens, Varian Medical Systems, Philips, Boeing, General Electric (GE), Caterpillar, and ABB. 

Explore in Detail: How Big Players Optimize with Manufacturing Analytics

Best Practices for Manufacturing Analytics


In an era where data reigns supreme, manufacturing stands at the cusp of a digital revolution. With the power to transform operations, drive efficiency, and unlock unprecedented insights, manufacturing analytics is the beacon guiding companies through this brave new world. But diving into these waters requires more than cutting-edge tools — it demands a strategic approach. Below, we unravel the pivotal strategies companies should consider for a seamless and effective transition into manufacturing analytics.

Effective Data Management 

The intricacies of manufacturing analytics demand an impeccable data management framework. To facilitate advanced analysis, companies should adopt a contemporary data management system that centralizes information, ensuring consistency and easy access. It’s essential for organizations to meticulously outline their data lifecycle strategy, emphasizing efficient data transformation and the seamless integration of both structured and semi-structured data.

Engaging Domain Experts 

The true potential of a data analytics initiative is realized when specialized knowledge is brought into the mix. These domain specialists possess a deep comprehension of core manufacturing segments like equipment upkeep, supply chain operations, and technical processes. By providing data scientists with this sector-specific knowledge, domain experts ensure the analytics process produces genuinely pertinent and precise results.

Process and Culture Evolution 

Transitioning to a data-centric operational mindset is often a monumental cultural metamorphosis for many enterprises. A successful analytics deployment demands unwavering commitment across all organizational levels, from boardroom leaders to the operational ground. For this transformation to yield results, it’s imperative to educate every stakeholder on their individual roles, potential alterations in their tasks, and the overarching advantages of this paradigm shift.  

5 Global Trends in Manufacturing Analytics

The manufacturing landscape is evolving as data and analytics aid decision-making and reshape the core of industry operations. Amidst the rapid technological advancements and shifting global dynamics, manufacturing organizations must leverage data not just as an accessory but as an indispensable catalyst for transformation. Let’s explore the top five global trends that underline how manufacturing analytics is redefining the industry, presenting both challenges and unparalleled opportunities: emerging technologies, data visibility, data monetization, data integration, and sustainability.  

Explore in Detail: 5 Global Manufacturing Analytics Trends You Need to Know

Manufacturing Analytics FAQs

Optimize Your Manufacturing Analytics with B EYE

We use cutting-edge analytics platforms to transform your sports organization into a data-driven powerhouse. Whether your focus is on optimizing player performance, maximizing fan engagement, or enhancing operational efficiency, our tailored solutions can make the difference. Leveraging industry-leading platforms like Qlik, Power BI, Tableau, and Snowflake Data Cloud, we offer comprehensive analytics services designed to meet your unique needs. Schedule a Consultation with our experts today to explore how you can achieve better results with your data.

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