No matter what systems and processes your business operations uses to gather data and make decisions, it’s worth regularly asking if there is a better approach. If your operations still relies heavily on spreadsheets and has yet to undertake a serious data integration initiative, the answer is definitively “yes.” A recent Aberdeen Group survey called “Cloud & Hybrid Analytics: Fully Realize the Value of your Data” highlights why, as well as why cloud-based organizations typically outperform competitors using more traditional data integration strategies.
The urgent need for clear insights to the right people in real time
In the Aberdeen Group survey, 44% of respondents listed “competitive pressures require that we become a more data-driven organization” as a top driver for analytics solutions. The reality is that in large numbers of organizations today there is still all kinds of data in disparate systems and databases going untapped. And that’s impacting the effectiveness of everything from the overall business strategy to the efficiency of day-to-day operations. After all, if executives can’t easily drill down into operational data to explore or uncover key business needs or opportunities, many of their decisions are effectively best guesses (and potentially very costly). Moreover, if managers and frontline workers can’t access the data they need to fine-tune processes until days or weeks after an issue arises, they will never be able to fully optimize efficiency and keep organizational goals on track. It’s like relying on GPS system that doesn’t alert you about a known traffic jam or a construction detour until you’re already stuck in gridlock with very few workaround options.
Pressures Driving the Need for Analytics
4 reasons cloud and hybrid approaches are better than onsite solutions
Recognizing the need for data integration is only half the battle. How you integrate, govern and then analyze your data will also have important implications on the future of your business, according to the Aberdeen Group survey. The results showed that companies using cloud-based data analytics or hybrid cloud typically have advantages over companies relying solely on on-premise solutions for a variety of reasons:
- Enhanced collaboration—it’s easier to share previously dormant or underused data across different departments and job roles
- Workforce empowerment—cloud analytics solutions are often designed to support everyone from executives to frontline employees with user-friendly, job-specific insights
- Less reliance on IT—not only can business and frontline users use many cloud-based solutions to analyze data themselves, the solutions are easier to manage and scale
- Faster access to data—solutions can access data in near real time to drive better decision making
Moving past technology hype to find the solutions you really need
Given the speed of business today, access to real time or at least timely insights is becoming a business imperative. Just consider that energy and raw materials prices now change multiple times per hour, or that it’s getting harder and harder to orchestrate jumps in productivity. The keys to figuring out how to take advantage of price changes or eke out more productivity are hidden in data. Moreover, your data also holds the best clues for finding opportunities to make your plant, facility or office run better—and choose technology investments accordingly. In other words, before you even think about initiatives like IoT, machine learning, expert systems, intelligent instruments, and other trending technologies, it’s more important to be able to gather and use your existing data; real time analysis capabilities and business processes that ensure you react in a timely manner to what you are seeing are your foundation for future success. Furthermore, understanding what is not working now is the intelligence needed to fix broken processes in support of continuous improvement objectives.
Learn more about how to maximize the value of your data
Although it’s no surprise that industry leaders consistently rely on analytics capabilities across business functions to drive better results,determining the best way forward for your business can be anything but clear. If you’re ready to explore cloud-based real time measurement capabilities, be sure to check out Dploy Solutions. Our cloud-based solution enables you to easily integrate organization-wide data for historical and real time analysis. Dploy Solutions not only provides the real time insights on exactly what is going on in your business but it also gives you the unique and invaluable drill down capabilities for analyzing root causes for misses and leads you through the 5-why, 8D and A3 problem tools to course correct. The strategy deployment, project management, KPI management capabilities of Dploy Solutions makes it easy to align high-level strategic goals with daily work and keeps everything on track to win the day, week, month and year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken Koenemann, VP of Supply Chain and Technology at TBM Consulting Group, is a 25+ year veteran of manufacturing, operational excellence and supply chain optimization. At TBM, Ken is actively leading the effort to our suite of services to include emerging technologies that improve productivity and convert complex data into information for improved decision making.