Manufacturers have long embraced Operational Excellence through programs like Six Sigma, quality initiatives and careful focus on scientific methods. Until recently, manufacturers have been less likely to adopt a similar approach to data choosing to make do with a silo’d approach.

This might have worked in the past, but in today's environment it will increasing undermine (if it hasn’t already) profitability and long-term success. Using the same steps that helped companies achieve operational excellence can help them reach the same stage when it comes to their information.

Big Data = Big Challenges

We recently worked with INDUSTRYWEEK and Penton Research to survey manufacturing companies on their use of data.

The survey results show that one-third to one-half of companies say they lack enterprise-wide accessibility to data, don’t effectively integrate data and do not have a consistent means to identify and analyze meaningful data.

The most interesting part of the survey: Managers and individual contributors see the possibilities of Big Data more clearly than company leaders.

Discussing data in the same framework as Operational Excellence helps mid-level managers and contributors explain the potential of Big Data in a way that their bosses can understand.