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Manufacturing analysts should be thinking strategically, but they often want to know “how am I doing right now?” Dashboards can answer such questions by increasing analytical activity with the plant floor, improving the user experience, and facilitating better day-to-day decision-making.

Aberdeen Group research reveals that 47% of organizations believe they need to become more data-driven to remain competitive. However, becoming more data-driven shouldn’t mean engaging more data, but rather engaging the right data. At the operational level, many organizations claim they want to become more data-driven, but are analyzing data on a monthly or quarterly cadence, when they should be engaging data daily or even more frequently. Operational or tactical dashboards enable users to display key metrics they need to proactively manage and react on a daily basis.

In its MOM/MES and Manufacturing Operations Benchmark Study, Aberdeen Group spoke to 223 organizations on the cutting edge of manufacturing and the issues that come along with it. Results revealed that 32% of these respondents handle plant data via real-time/event-driven dashboards with role-based data accessibility, navigation, aggregation, or drill down. These real-time operational dashboard users were 41% more likely than All Others to be attuned to a specific market pressure: the increasing pace of innovation/changing business models.

Though Aberdeen discovered many benefits of real-time operational dashboards, these users benefited from levels of real-time visibility twice as high as non-dashboard users (Figure 1).

 

With visibility comes opportunity. Operations analysts engage these dashboards to spot inefficiencies and recognize small problems before they develop into bigger ones. This data also offers opportunities for improvement and course correction to optimize productivity.

Finally, Aberdeen research suggests that the use of real-time dashboards facilitates better decision-making. Over the last two years, real-time dashboard users have improved their time-to-decision at a rate 2.5 times greater than All Others.

Operations is the delivery mechanism of the manufacturing enterprise. It is the engine driving the work in production. Users in operations don’t necessarily need or want a dashboard with high-level metrics and strategic outlook. They want the ability to engage information in a way that matches the demands of their job to continually drive toward operational excellence. Operational dashboards effectively fulfill this practical need.

To learn more about developing operational excellence in manufacturing, check out Real-Time Operational Dashboards Foster Manufacturing Excellence.

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