Most large manufacturing and related companies use Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to improve their business performance. An ERP is a type of business software that allows organizations to combine many different business functions into one complete, interconnected system – such as accounting, sales, and marketing. ERP systems have been used by large organizations for a long time and are helpful to improving both processes and data analysis.
Analyzing business data using an ERP is one of the most important activities that companies can do in order to find and use integral operational information. However, it takes training and practice for ERP data analysis to be effective. Enterprise organizations can collect and utilize helpful information from ERP system data by actively using the various data analysis methods and features within their ERP software.
Here are some of the ways enterprise industries can make better decisions and improvements with ERP data analysis:
Use Data Analysis Dashboards
One of the most useful and easy to use features of an ERP system to help you understand data analysis is to create and monitor “dashboards” that allow you to view where your company’s performance is both succeeding and failing. An enterprise organization can see metrics associated with key areas of the business presented in common graphical points or charts. When creating new data analysis dashboards, it is helpful to pick valuable metrics and key performance indicators (KPI’s) that do not require drilling down into the data to understand.
By implementing and using these ERP dashboards, your teams will know exactly how well the organization is performing and what areas need improvement. Waiting until the end of the month or even the fiscal year is not enough in this fast paced internet age; real-time data insights can help make immediate changes and improvements to business processes which can then be monitored and tested for effectiveness.
Create Organizational Scorecards
Many organizations use scorecards to track progress within their departments. These scorecards can also be used to help companies ensure they are analyzing ERP data. Organizational scorecards are great tools to determine if certain departments are achieving specific goals, such as user training completion or document creation. After tasks are completed, update the scorecards and keep track of which areas are running smoothly and which ones need improvement.
Keeping tabs on how well each department is performing is integral to tracking ERP data successfully and using it to its fullest potential.
Use Data Alerts & Exceptions
Related to the ERP data analysis dashboards, using alerts & exceptions are helpful for determining whether an organization is analyzing the right data. By setting alerts for key indicators you will be immediately informed when something goes wrong or falls below standards. For example; if there is an alert set to trigger when inventory for a specific resource reaches a critical level, businesses will not only be able to ensure that resource does not run out but also know that there needs to be more oversight of the ERP data analysis to prevent such a situation occurring again.
The key to ERP data analysis is using the tools inside the software to your advantage; by creating alerts and exceptions combined with data analysis dashboards, the ERP will work for your business seamlessly while providing much needed insight into the inner functions and processes.
Choose “Good” Metrics to Analyze
With data analytics, dashboards, and alerts & exceptions, the most important factor is selecting the best data & metrics to study and act upon. These are known as Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) and will dictate what data is presented in the dashboards and alerts. Figuring out what an organization’s long term goals are is critical to determining which data needs to be prioritized and brought to the forefront of dashboards or alerted about.
Choosing KPI’s with value is more important than trying to use KPI’s to make the organization look “good”; by selecting the most important metrics to base data analysis on, the information garnered from that analysis will be more useful and easier to make better decisions on.
Collecting and analyzing the right ERP data is the best way to move enterprise organizations toward success. The various features provided by ERP software such as dashboards, scorecards, KPI’s, and alerts & exceptions can help manufacturers and other businesses use ERP data analysis to make better decisions, collect the right data, and – most importantly – actually utilize that data.