Results of the Manufacturing Data Analytics Study Published




Marcos Padrón Hinrichs

Group Leader


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Empirical Industrial Study Reveals the Status in the Manufacturing Sector

  Data Analytics Empirical Industrial Study Reveals the Sta-tus in the Manufacturing Sector

When considering the developments in the manufacturing industry over the past decades, one thing becomes clear: data have a tremendous impact on organizations at all levels. Whether it is statistical analyses, big data, or artificial intelligence – data will shape business performance even more strongly in the upcoming years than it has done before. On one hand, even simple analyses with limited datasets can be extremely effective in helping companies make better decisions, manage and optimize business processes, develop a deeper understanding of customers, and improve products and services. On the other hand, artificial intelligence holds the promise of completely transforming business models and has thus garnered the most attention recently. The use of data for information gathering and decision-making support has become a central pillar for many companies. Data analytics offer the opportunity to gain valuable insights from data, optimize business processes, and make informed decisions.

However, Where Does the Manufacturing Industry Stand Regarding Manufacturing Data Analytics in the DACH Region?

To answer this and other questions, WZL, in collaboration with colleagues from the Institute of Technology Management, University of St.Gallen (ITEM-HSG), conducted the recently published industrial study "Manufacturing Data Analytics 2023" in the DACH region.

The empirical study deals with data analytics in manufacturing companies and examines four key aspects. First, how manufacturing companies develop strategies and structures for the integration of data analytics into their operational processes. Second, the characteristics of production data, to understand how data can be used effectively. The analyzed dimensions include data collection, storage, processing, and utilization. Third, how the relationship between lean management, digitization and data analytics is lived in practice. This includes an analysis of how these strategies synergistically work together to streamline and optimize production processes. Fourth, the impact of data analytics on business performance. Through detailed evaluation, insights about the measurable impact on the overall performance of a company can be derived, highlighting how data-driven insights can significantly enhance business efficiency.

The Need for Action Has Been Recognized – the Implementation Is Yet to Follow

The results of the study emphasize the growing importance of data analytics in the manufacturing industry as a key factor for future competitiveness. Based on responses from over 150 manufacturing companies, the necessity of continuous research and development in this area is stressed. The study further shows that extensive and ongoing research remains essential to effectively master the challenges in the field of data analytics in manufacturing and assembly. A stronger and more competent use of data could lead to significant improvements in various business areas, especially in terms of quality and innovation processes. A significant part of the study focuses on the potential of data analytics to improve the maturity and effectiveness of manufacturing processes. In particular, areas such as labor cost optimization, increasing delivery speed, and flexibility of production processes are expected to benefit the most from advanced data analysis methods.

"The results of the study point to existing barriers and highlight areas where further research is required. The current commitment of companies already announces a profound change in the operational paradigm of the industry. These endeavors, in conjunction with confidence in data analytics, strengthen the position of companies in the constantly evolving industrial environment,"

states Prof. Robert Schmitt.

In summary, it becomes clear that data-driven manufacturing and assembly enable companies to strengthen their competitive position through higher quality and productivity. The study serves as a call to action in both science and industry, to ensure that the manufacturing industry in the DACH region does not lose its scientific and competitive edge.

The complete study results can be found at the apprimus website.