As data becomes a critical resource in modern organizations, business users are clamoring for tools to ease access to data for reporting and dashboards. However, the race for greater access to data-driven decision-making tools has created a challenge of managing and delivering data to users in tools that they can effectively use in their day-to-day lives. Initially, companies rolled out business intelligence (BI) tools but as these solutions struggle to support a growing set of new use cases, companies are implementing embedded analytics (EA) in their ERP systems.
What is embedded analytics
Embedded analytics is a software extension to an existing application that brings the full benefits of BI to employees to provide quicker, data-informed decisions without interrupting their workflow. EA plugs data in the form of reports, dashboards and data visualizations into applications, putting the information where it will get used. Instead of users having to learn a new application to get the data to improve decision-making, the data they need is provided to them in the systems they are already familiar with and know how to use.
Benefits of embedded analytics
As manufacturers continue to generate large volumes of data from the Internet of Things and other data sources, it only has value if it can be accessed and used within the applications where actions can be taken. EA provides opportunities to use the data, enabling user-friendly insights that can be shared internally and externally. It includes the governance and data controls for businesses to determine which users have access to what data and present reports or data visualizations securely.
EA enables users to identify and mitigate issues and spot opportunities. It gives workers in functions like the shop floor or dealing with customers, the insights to make informed decisions at each interaction in real-time, driving better outcomes, improving customer service, and increasing competitiveness.
How embedded analytics can be used in manufacturing
Manufacturing organizations use a variety of different data sources, many of which are independent, which makes it difficult to identify connections between them. EA tools bring data visualizations and interactive dashboards to manufacturing staff so they can visualize complex data, making it simpler to understand the complex relationships within the data.
An ERP system with its own EA solution allows for easy integration and consolidation of disparate data into one unified view, which can serve as a source of faster problem resolution and identification of new opportunities.
Embedded analytics in different roles in manufacturing
EA can be used to optimize budgeting, financial planning, and forecasting. It provides the ability to analyze at-a-glance key data such as days sales of inventory, days sales outstanding, total accounts payable, and total accounts receivable.
Supply chain management
EA can be used in supply chain management to help businesses track inventory levels and monitor supplier performance. It can be used to gain insights into supply chain operations and make data-driven decisions to improve efficiency and reduce costs. A supply chain dashboard can help to track inventory levels, logistics management and warehouse operations from a single display.
EA can bring predictive analytics and mobile-friendly tools for manufacturers to ensure high quality, optimized performance and yield, and reduced costs. These tools can assist in managing production capacity and minimizing equipment downtime, thereby improving operational efficiency.
Ensuring a great customer experience is critical to the success of a manufacturing company. Customers expect more personalized and customized products and to provide this service data is needed. EA offers sales staff the data insights that can help them personalize service to an individual customer.
Embedded analytics in today’s business
Data is the driver of today’s competitive business environment. By embedding data analytics tools within the ERP system that people use every day, they get a digital workplace capability where data analysis can be done in a user’s natural workflow, without the need to toggle to another application. EA can be deployed for specific processes, ensuring that the implementation is rolled out to those functions that can deliver a fast time-to-value, before enabling it for other areas of the business.