As big data in manufacturing continues to transform the sector, more businesses are adopting real-time analytics to make better data-driven decisions.

Analysing large datasets — also known as big data — provides manufacturers with actionable insights to improve end-to-end processes.

Many types of big data are available to manufacturers, including datasets on warehouse performance, sales and operations, the supply chain, and customer feedback.

By collecting data across departments, your business can increase productivity and the efficiency of internal processes. You’ll also gain a better understanding of your customers. This is where data analytics for manufacturing comes into play — with actionable insights, your teams can make better decisions.

But some businesses are not integrating big data analytics and miss out on the opportunity to unify data and connect the customer experience.

Let’s deep dive into how manufacturers can integrate big data and analytics across departments to transform business processes and stay ahead of the competition.


Trends in Manufacturing

Salesforce Industry Insights surveyed 750 manufacturers worldwide. Download this report to discover more.


What is big data in manufacturing?  

Manufacturers are continuously collecting big data from a variety of sources, including machinery, maintenance, production, operations, orders, quality, and customer interactions.

Big data is complex. With the right technology to collect and manage your data, you can identify ways to improve reliability and processes, predict customer fluctuations and new markets, and ensure the success of existing products and services.

Big data leveraged for end-to-end manufacturing can boost productivity and profitability. Here are two key examples that demonstrate the importance of big data.


Real-time information on inventory across different locations

Data can provide real-time updates on your stock availability across different locations, enabling your teams to provide accurate information to customers. It also ensures you don’t waste money stocking products that don’t sell, and stay on top of the stock that you need.

With real-time inventory data across multiple locations, your teams can access the information they need, wherever and whenever they need it. This means they won’t need to contact other departments when fulfilling enquiries and will save your business time and money when it comes to your inventory.


Enhance your customer service and marketing efforts 

For manufacturers, there is often limited visibility into customers’ perspectives. Distributors might hold back customer information, and ineffective marketing activities might provide little insight into the customer experience. Once marketers collect leads for your company, they might not have access to data after that.

Customer data collected and managed across the customer journey can help your marketing efforts. With a 360-view of the customer, this data can benefit your service teams too. 

With data across the end-to-end supply chain, from design to production to sales, you can gain greater insight into your customer base, better understand your customers, and empower your teams to make data-driven decisions.


Importance of integrating big data

Integrated big data gives your teams actionable insights to make critical business decisions. By unifying your data from different sources and departments, you can better understand your customers and improve your business operations. 

You can gain a competitive advantage when adopting big data analytics. For example, your employees can work more effectively by providing customers with fast and accurate delivery times without contacting another department.

Integrated data across your business provides your workforce with up-to-date product information so that they can deal with enquiries — fast. This helps improve efficiency and productivity.

Manufacturers can leverage integrated big data on product performance and customer demand to predict changes. This helps your business determine what products to order and how much stock you need. Your business can also identify optimal product pricing based on pricing insights gleaned from big data.

The use of manufacturing analytics is crucial to pull actionable insights from integrated data. Real-time manufacturing analytics can help you identify new markets, sectors, and whitespace too. You can also use data analytics for manufacturing to streamline relationships between sales, the back office, and production.


Using Salesforce to integrate big data into your business

Some manufacturers still pull data and generate reports manually. But tools like Einstein Analytics enable teams to manage and visualise datasets with speed, so that they can focus their time on actionable insights.

Investing in the right technology can help your business manage big data more efficiently. Now more than ever, manufacturers must leverage meaningful analytics and powerful insights pulled from organised big data. And real-time manufacturing analytics is crucial when it comes to understanding your data. 

Manufacturers lacking the skills or software to capture actionable insights should consider the benefits of a CRM (customer relationship management) system. A CRM can provide your business with a better understanding of customers and help improve customer relationships. A CRM can also support the integration of big data across your business.

Platforms such as MuleSoft help businesses integrate their systems by connecting data, applications, and devices. With an integrated system and unified data, your business can innovate faster, automate business processes, and build connected customer experiences.

To stay ahead of the competition, manufacturers must collect and manage large amounts of data to drive efficient processes and improve the customer journey. Better customer experiences are made possible with manufacturing analytics. Salesforce solutions like Tableau provide your business with artificial intelligence, fully integrated data management, and visual analytics.

With integrated data and analytics, your business can outperform the competition, improve internal processes, increase productivity, and empower your teams to make better data-driven decisions.



Trends in Manufacturing

Salesforce Industry Insights surveyed 750 manufacturers worldwide. Download this report to discover more.