In fact, the predecessor concept of “data analytics,” which was introduced in the mid-1990s as technology to compare/analyze smaller data sets without the component of social media, is also not well understood by mid-sized manufacturing organizations: only 7.4 percent found it “very easy to understand.”
The study of 100 mid-sized manufacturers and distributors was conducted by ERP system provider Syspro.
Despite what some described as more “noise” than “news” in the wider market on big data capabilities, nearly 30 percent of these smaller U.S. organizations said they plan to “step up” use of their more targeted Syspro analytics capabilities in 2015. The primary drivers they say are:
• Better production operational processes (64.2%)
• More sales opportunities (19.8%)
• Better material costs (13.6%)
• Better hiring/talent management processes (2.4%)
In the emerging technology front, an indication of rising interest in social data streams (likely tied to the increased use of mobile devices in the manufacturing/distribution community) is seen with this statistic: some 44.4 percent of respondents say “accessing new social streams of data” is moderately to very important to their company’s success. The implication here, when coupled with the analytic drivers stated above, is that mid-market technology buyers are interested in new sources of data when they can be easily understood and tied to specific business goals.
The survey traditionally asks this segment of U.S. manufacturers and distributors “how strong do you feel the U.S. economy is as it impacts your business.” In this cycle, 50.6 percent said they are wary of the political landscape/regulatory actions that could either propel or challenge them. More than a quarter of the respondents (25.9%) said they believed the U.S. economy is: “Not good/strong; I see a lot of challenges ahead for U.S. manufacturers versus feeling that things are improving.”
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