Why Data-mining your own company can help your business
Tapping into the data your organization generates
Software is an invaluable way to ‘lift the hood’ on your business. Organizations generate significant amounts of proprietary data in their daily operations. These measurements give managers meaningful insight and a nuanced understanding of performance, across each facet of their business. This ‘precision knowledge’ (e.g., what’s working well and where do deficiencies exist?) can inform optimization strategies that lead to significant competitive advantages.
And compiling/analyzing internal information can be a turn-key task when equipped with the proper tools. The purpose of this two-part blog series is to highlight the path to enduring, profitable business success using the right analytic tools for internal data-mining.
What are Data Analytics?
Simply put, data analytics refer to the process of organizing raw data, mining it for meaning, and applying the emerging insight to solve issues and/or address opportunities. The more robust analyses of internal data typically involve software (e.g., CNC machines, optimization software solutions, e-commerce solutions) to find informational patterns, including:
1. Descriptive analytics: what happened?
2. Diagnostic analytics: why did something happen?
3. Predictive analytics: what is going to happen?
4. Prescriptive analytics: what should happen next?
Why Data Analytics Matter
When properly collected and analyzed, internal data becomes a systematic source of management knowledge (which often is missed in cursory observation and/or ad hoc measurement). A direct and clear line of sight into the totality of your business performance: from upfront demand generation to back-end operations and bottom-line results.
Operationalizing this insight can yield important competitive advantages, including:
1. Consistency in business processes eliminates potential human errors
2. Expanding outputs and efficiency through data analysis
3. Improving real-time insight with data accuracy
4. Reducing waste, increasing yield through optimization equates to cost savings
5. Upgrading your customer service by pulling the client into the process
6. Improving employee morale
7. Shortened manufacturing times (a.k.a. optimize operations)
8. Greater management of operational intelligence (optimizing the data hidden in plain sight)
9. Determine where your business is losing money to maximize profits
10. Making more strategic decisions, such as entering a new product line, exiting a product line, or buying new machines
What Powers Data Analytics?
Every employee, machine, process, supplier, distributor, customer, and/or prospect generates data that can be mined. If you use the proper software, data is easily collected, stored (typically for a pre-specified period of time), and turned into information.
Talk with your software provider to find out what/how their system(s) collect, store, and transform data. Work with them to configure systems that highlight bottlenecks, breakdowns, breakthroughs, opportunities, etc. within your organization/infrastructure; this can be represented in easy-to-understand formats (e.g., visualize trends through graphs and charts).
AI Uses Algorithms to Analyze Large Amounts of Data
You can’t discuss data in 2023 without raising the issue of Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is a field within computer science that references any sort of intelligence demonstrated by machines. How can AI-powered tools help fabrication companies, such as yours, mine data? AI uses algorithms (usually continuously) to monitor and analyze large amounts of data. By automating this normally time-consuming process, AI-powered tools can offer greater speed, scale, and more finite granularity unmatched by humans. With faster access to trends in your data, you’re able to make quicker decisions. Will AI-powered tools become important in glass fabrication? Only time will tell!
In Part II, we’ll explore the role of software plays in measuring & optimizing the performance of your business.