Business Automation and Software Blog

Manufacturers: Use Business Intelligence Solutions to Tell Your Story

Posted by Robert Baran on Wed, Aug 19, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Not every person is going to be a numbers person. When it comes to building a business, that can be a good thing: you need diversely talented individuals for all kinds of roles within your company. But it can also make things difficult when it comes time to communicate data to others. Insights from data need to be communicated to others and explained in a way that inspires both action and change. If colleagues can’t grasp the significance of an insight, it won’t drive value.

This is where data storytelling, visualizing insights with a structured narrative, comes into play. Where facts and figures can’t influence decisions or promote action on their own, a well-crafted data story can. This is especially true for manufacturing data derived from business intelligence solutions.

What Is Manufacturing Data Storytelling?

“Storytelling” within the manufacturing-data arena can be defined as the translation of AI data into a language (including charts, images, and narratives) that can be easily understood by non-data-scientist employees. Storytelling blends hard corporate data from business intelligence solutions with the art of human communication, allowing us to bridge the gap between data science and business. Done right, storytelling can help to drive insights through the company and can be a very important element of success in a data-driven manufacturing environment.

Ideally, data storytelling describes people on journeys from their current status—whatever that may be—to a future that is qualitatively and quantitatively improved. In agile software development, for example, a user story connects the software under consideration to the customer and presents data confirming the delivery of value. The journey described may begin with the user’s status quo, progress to the adoption of new software, and triumphantly concludes with the creation of value. Because the story is propelled by data, the journey and its conclusion exist both as stories and as lessons.

Why You Should Be Creating Stories around Data

Using data from business intelligence solutions to create stories can help to encourage desirable traits, such as trust. When executive or managerial decisions come out of the blue, suspicion and rumor typically ripple through the workforce. A management decision to make changes on the shop floor may be viewed with suspicion by employees on the assembly line.

Management can tell their workers the changes are based on data, but without storytelling to garner buy-in, the concerns remain. Add a well-composed, data-driven story, however, and the reasons for the decision can be made clear to all involved. Once employees understand and begin to own the change, they will be motivated to update old habits, increase productivity, improve quality, eliminate wasteful practices, follow safety protocols, and work to ensure compliance.

Create Your Data-Driven Story With Business Intelligence Solutions

Of course, if you can’t find the data, it’s impossible to tell a data-driven story. Accurate data is a must, along with the right analytical tools. For a manufacturing company to drive success through storytelling, a modern, up-to-date business intelligence solution like your ERP is essential, as well as a selection of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as AI and predictive analytics. All that’s necessary after that is a desire to communicate, and a gift for telling stories.

Within the SYSPRO ERP, the UX has evolved rapidly to engage users and present them with elements of storytelling. The cloud-capable, web-based, device-agnostic user interface (UI), Avanti, has been designed to support Industry 4.0 technologies, such as the Internet of Things. Avanti’s tiles display real-time KPIs from sensor data, then tie that data into the workflow. This allows for the easy use of predictive analytics, which makes Avanti the perfect tool for surfacing actionable insights.

But that’s not all—now you can take one step further into the future with SYSPRO Harmony. Harmony is a social media-type platform that can help your company build an agile, connected, collaborative, and data-driven workforce.

Powered by artificial intelligence (AI), Harmony disseminates actionable insights to the appropriate people and facilitates internal and external collaboration. As employees chat, Harmony’s AI recognizes keywords and surfaces relevant, real-time data for the consideration of the participants. In effect, Harmony encourages learning and engagement through the introduction of the basic elements of storytelling.

SYSPRO software creates productive, harmonious partnerships between people and machines. By coding something as essentially human as storytelling into their software’s DNA, SYSPRO helps businesses take an important step toward the future.

Start your manufacturing data storytelling journey today with the help of SYSPRO and the software and data professionals at PositiveVision. Contact us today for more information.

Topics: business intelligence solutions