The UK manufacturing and engineering industry is one of the fastest changing sectors, with new technologies such as simulation software, building information modeling and big data leading to major shifts in working practices and processes.
For this reason, it is especially important for the sector to stay on top of these new technologies, so as part of our Big Data League studies, manufacturing and engineering decision makers in the UK were questioned with regards to their big data prolificity, and revealed they are already having some success!
74% of respondents reported they have the technical knowledge in place to understand and maximise data insights, and a small majority (54%) of manufacturers said they already have big data analytics in some form in place.
Over half (57%) of respondents in this sector also see the potential to create new revenue streams as a driver for prioritising data analysis, with 61% highlighting that making processes more efficient and achieving savings was the biggest motivator, which is more than in any other sector. On top of that, many decision makers in this sector have access to sales data (72%) and product data (59%), also higher than in any other sector – earning the manufacturing and engineering industry second place in our Big Data League.
It’s great to see this sector really buying into and recognising the value of big data, but there is still more to be done. This sector scored the lowest compared to other sectors with regards to recruitment of additional technical staff with IT skills, and 41% highlighted that their IT infrastructure or organisation can’t move fast enough to make better use of data. A fifth of all respondents also reported that it can take days or even weeks to manipulate large data sets for analysis.
So where to next? With limited UK manufacturing growth, now is the time for businesses to review revenue opportunities which aren’t necessarily reliant on increased demand, such as data analytics based on customer feedback to refine products and services to drive growth and profitability. Investments in people and infrastructure are already making an impact on the sector, so the next step lies in focusing on the ability to speed up insights through the development of current systems or enabling faster development of applications.
You can read the full sector report here, or join in the conversation online using #BigDataLeague with @emcuki.