More than one in five managers in the manufacturing sector believe that predictive data would increase the overall profitability of the business during 2020, according to a recent survey by Anvizent, a data management software solutions provider.
Surveying over 100 senior managers in mid-sized manufacturing firms, Anvizent also found that predictive data is likely to have a significant impact on increased revenues, with a quarter of those responding believing that it will add to the bottom line during the coming year.
Mike Beason, distribution director of Anvizent, said: “Although many businesses believe that they are using data in a predictive way, it is clear from some of the responses we received that there is a very different definition of what predictive actually means. For us predictive data is about utilising the data that you already have in a system that will fill in some of the missing historical data to predict outcomes based largely on fact – this is where the use of artificial intelligence can really have a significant impact on a business.”
Predictive data is essentially acting as a business forecasting tool based on what your business does and how good your business is at doing it. It’s taking the descriptive data that is generated on a minute by minute basis and adding this to historical trends information. This is the type of predictive data that all companies can have access to with the right type of systems in place. Twenty seven per cent of those questioned believe that they have access to this type of information but 90 per cent would also like data to predict the likely outcomes of changes to the business.
“The next step is to turn the predictive results into something even more valuable to a company,” comments Beason. “The results of predictive analysis can be pushed back into an ERP system to turn predictive data into prescriptive data where a business can understand the necessary changes it should make to get to a desired point. At this stage data is being used to make business decisions that will affect areas such as budget planning and targeting for sales people. This is much more than just predicting the likely impact of a change in pricing or the knock on effect of a bad winter.”
It is clear that the ability of data to add to the bottom line in a predictive and prescriptive capacity is going to be an important theme across the manufacturing world in the coming years. But this needs to be both simple and low cost if manufacturers are to make the best of this solution. Any system that is put in place to utilise the data from the company should seamlessly integrate with the existing systems and make the automation of data analysis a simple process. Companies that put measures such as this in place now to understand their data and how to make it drive the business forward will be in a much stronger position to succeed.