Data as a Differentiator

The Manufacturer’s Roadmap for Competing on Analytics

In our first ever episode, we talk with data scientist Skye Reymond. Skye lays the groundwork for our series focusing on how data and analytics are key competitive differentiators for manufacturing companies. Here are just a few highlights: 

1:44: Start where you are 
Skye: There’s a book that I reference when a company is assessing where they stand in their analytical strategy. It’s called ‘Competing on Analytics.’ It outlines 5 levels of maturity…

2:22: Stage 1: Analytically Impaired 
Skye: This is when a company is flying blind, they’re very reactive, the systems might not be integrated, and their data is poor quality.

3:13: Stage 2: Localized Analytics
Skye: These companies collect transactional data, something like you would see in an ERP system. But it’s still very reactive.

5:58: Stage 3: Analytical Aspirations
Skye: These companies are making investments in the right talent and tools. They’re preparing to use analytics to improve a distinctive capability of their company. They have a roadmap to automation.

6:57: The Road Map
Skye: A really good place to start is in the area of your business that you believe is going to be your differentiator. So if you have a repair shop, maybe your differentiator is service. If you’re a logistics company, your differentiator is going to be speed of delivery…

8:19: Stage 4: An Analytical Company
Skye: This is an enterprise-wide analytical strategy that’s viewed as a company priority… They’re often using more automated analytics and more advanced modeling techniques… things like artificial intelligence, time series forecasting… 

9:30: Building A Data-Driven Culture  
Skye: It really needs to start from the top down… The next step is to give the people who are doing the jobs day-to-day some ownership and input. These are the experts who can give you some of the most valuable insight as you’re figuring out your analytics strategy.  

10:31: Stage 5: The Ultimate Level
Skye: This is [a company] using analytics as a key component in their competitive strategy…analytics are fully automated, completely integrated. Decisions organization-wide are data-driven. Analytics are the central theme to how the organization operates.  

11:52: The Last Differentiator
Skye: Analytics are really going to be the last differentiator. Analytics are going to be the big advantage that makes companies win over others. 

16:05: Descriptive, Predictive, and Prescriptive Analytics
Andrew: I like this concept because it helps you connect your analytical strategy toward tangible goals for your business and it really guides your thinking towards asking the right questions… 


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