How to choose manufacturing software for business intelligence

Last updated:November 2013

Editor's note

Manufacturers looking to optimize their data and improve productivity may want to consider buying manufacturing software for business intelligence, which takes data from internal and external systems and sends it to a data warehouse, where the data is cleaned up and made available for analysis. This clearer view of data allows organizations to measure performance and know exactly where the company stands profit- and production-wise. Today's BI and analytics software is cost-effective and can provide insights that can increase sales, according to experts, which results in a strong return on investment (ROI).

Many manufacturing organizations don't realize that their current ERP system contains analytic functions; they just have to learn how to identify and use them. If they need more capabilities, they can investigate the offerings from niche vendors that specialize in BI software. Organizations might also take a chance and ask for better pricing, since the wider availability of BI software brings competition that can make vendors hungry for sales.

Along with affordability and good ROI, increased sales, production and data accessibility are some of the benefits of manufacturing BI software. This guide details the experiences of organizations that have implemented BI software and examines best practices to ensure that organizations glean the full value of a BI software investment.

1Best practices for BI software

Once IT has decided that purchasing BI software is the way to go, executive management must be sold on the idea. In this section, learn how to present a convincing business case for BI software and understand the keys to successful and easy implementation. Preparing workers for the cultural changes BI software can bring is important; training employees on BI software can make or break the entire project.

2Organizations' real-world BI software experiences

A great way to learn what works -- and what doesn't -- is to find out what other organizations have done in the same circumstances. This section shares the experiences of three very different organizations that purchased and implemented manufacturing BI software. Find out how they handled implementation and integration, increased production, optimized data and improved asset management.

3ROI on BI software

Cost is always a concern when purchasing or implementing any new technology, and executive management wants to see a strong ROI. The good news is that manufacturing BI software is often affordable and delivers results. Read why analytics capabilities are often present in software already being used, how the cloud is making BI software even more affordable and how BI software delivers insights that can boost productivity and increase sales.