Just to be clear. This post is not going to be about infographics. Data visualization encompasses many other useful methods of data rendering than the proliferation of infographics in social media would lead you to believe.
Bringing key business data into view in a clear manner has been the goal behind the creation of dashboards and status boards whether using printouts, white boards or touchscreens. Making data more visual is extremely useful in manufacturing operations but has been used to great effect in sales and business management in general.
For example, many call centers use the number of callers on hold and the average length of calls as performance indicators and display those numbers in real time for all employees to see. Some companies make reading these data points even easier by coloring the numbers red, yellow, or green.
In manufacturing, the same method is often used to help line workers keep a target output rate in production, but manufacturing operations not using a linear production process often need a more sophisticated way of keeping all employees apprised of their status. Enter ERPs and the new challenge of extracting the data needed to measure and report on performance.
Companies that have made the commitment to data visualization have found that getting the right data in front of employees in real time can be very rewarding. For example, our client Turbine Support Services (TSS) needed to get data in front of shop floor employees in a timelier manner to support a new packaging process.
Triple Helix worked with TSS to identify the needed data in its ERP and pulled it into a new 60-inch touchscreen so that employees could instantly see what is due to ship today, tomorrow or next week, as well as inventory levels, shipment status, order changes, and more.
Putting manufacturing data into an ERP opens up an array of new reporting opportunities for companies willing to invest the time and resources to change processes to leverage the system to its fullest. It can be daunting to fully harness the ability to get very granular with ERP data so some still rely on spreadsheet reports or printed manifests to keep track of critical aspects of the operation.
Ultimately, you must determine if you are using the right data to drive business decisions or employee performance, and whether that data is being presented to the right people at the right time to make a difference. If you would like a guided tour of your data, contact us. We specialize in helping companies more effectively organize, access, and analyze the data they generate and collect.