ERP Insights

ERP Analytics Turn Data into Actionable Insights

Posted In:
Updated On:
Erp analytics

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) analytics is a powerful business tool for manufacturers. ERP analytics offers executives a comprehensive and accessible view of the company's performance.

In this article we cover

By harnessing the business insights hidden within your ERP system via interactive dashboards, you will gain a deeper understanding of operations and be able to adjust business processes confidently.

This article explores the key features, benefits, and best practices of ERP analytics specifically tailored to the manufacturing industry. 

Understanding ERP Analytics

At its core, ERP analytics is the process of collecting and interpreting business insights and data generated by your ERP system. It transforms raw data into meaningful insights that provide a holistic view of your company’s operations.

These insights are essential for manufacturing CFOs and CEOs to better understand their operations and make proactive decisions.

The Role of Data in ERP

Data is the foundation of ERP analytics. Your ERP system captures vast amounts of data from various departments, including production, inventory, sales, and finance. This data holds valuable insights that can help transform manufacturing operations.

To unlock the full potential of ERP analytics, it is essential that data is accurate and accessible. 

Some key considerations are

  • Data Quality: Implementing data validation processes and regular data cleansing can help maintain data integrity.
  • Data Integration: Ensuring that data flows smoothly between different modules of your ERP system is crucial for accurate analytics.
  • Data Security: Security measures, such as access controls, data encryption, and regular backups, are essential to protect data from unauthorized access or potential breaches.
  • Data Governance: Clear data governance, which includes defining policies and procedures for data management, ensures that data is consistently captured, stored, and used across the company.

The Importance of KPIs and Metrics

ERP analytics plays a vital role in monitoring and tracking KPIs. By leveraging data captured within the ERP system, analytics tools can automatically calculate and display KPIs in real-time, giving executives a constant pulse on the performance of their manufacturing operations.

KPIs provide a quantitative measure of your business’s performance, enabling executives to track progress and identify areas for improvement. 

Metrics are quantifiable measures used to track and assess the status of a specific process, providing data and insights into business performance. 

Key KPIs for Manufacturers

  • On-Time Delivery (OTD) measures the percentage of orders delivered on or before the promised delivery date. This KPI is crucial for customer satisfaction and retention, as timely deliveries ensure customers receive their products as expected. High OTD rates indicate efficient production scheduling and inventory management.
  • Total Cycle Time measures the time taken from the start of production to the delivery of the finished product to the customer. It encompasses all stages of the manufacturing process, including procurement, production, quality control, and shipping.
  • Yield refers to the percentage of products that meet the required quality standards from the total production volume. It is a measure of production efficiency and effectiveness. A high yield indicates well-controlled processes and efficient use of resources. 
  • Scrap Rate measures the percentage of raw materials or finished products that are discarded due to quality issues or production errors. A high scrap rate indicates inefficiencies in the manufacturing process, poor quality control, or suboptimal equipment performance. Reducing scrap can lead to cost savings and enhanced environmental sustainability.

Benchmarking your KPIs against industry standards can provide valuable insights into your performance relative to competition, helping to identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. 

Key Features of ERP Analytics Tools

Key features of ERP analytics tools allow manufacturing executives to identify needed improvements and provide actionable business insights into manufacturing operations. 

Analytics tools come with multiple features designed to support executives in understanding comprehensive data analysis. 

These features include

  • Customizable Dashboards and Visuals: Customizable dashboards allow users to view and present data in a way that aligns with their specific needs and preferences, providing at-a-glance views of key metrics and trends. Visual tools like charts, graphs, and heat maps make it easier to spot trends and anomalies.
  • Data Integration: Analytics tools seamlessly integrate data from different modules of the ERP system to ensure a holistic view of operations and enable cross-functional analysis.
  • Data Collection and Management: Effective data collection and management are the cornerstones of reliable ERP analytics. This involves gathering data from various sources, ensuring it is clean and consistent, and storing it to make it easily accessible for analysis.
  • Predictive Analytics: Predictive analytics tools use historical data to forecast future trends and outcomes, anticipate demand, mitigate risks, and optimize production planning. For manufacturing companies, leveraging predictive analytics can mean forecasting demand, predicting equipment failures, or anticipating shifts in market conditions.

ERP Analytics Best Practices

Implementing the best data collection, management, and analysis practices is essential to maximizing the benefits of ERP analytics. 

This involves the following practices:

ERP Analytics Benefits in Manufacturing

Manufacturing companies stand to gain significantly from ERP analytics, which allows executives to optimize operations and improve efficiency.

Erp analytics benefits
A few of the key benefits ERP analytics offer manufacturers

These beneficial gains include

  1. Enhanced Operational Visibility: ERP analytics offers a comprehensive view of manufacturing operations, allowing real-time performance monitoring across departments. 
  2. Improved Decision-Making: Analytics tools provide accurate and timely data that enables strategic decisions based on facts. This leads to better resource allocation and improved business processes.
  3. Enhanced Quality Control: ERP analytics monitor quality metrics across manufacturing operations. It tracks key quality indicators like defect rates, rework, and customer complaints. 
  4. Predictive Maintenance: Predictive capabilities enable proactive equipment maintenance by analyzing historical data and machine performance metrics to predict potential failures. 
  5. Inventory Optimization: Analytics tools provide insights into inventory levels for informed stock management decisions by analyzing demand patterns, sales trends, and supplier lead times. 
  6. Improved Customer Service: ERP analytics help companies understand customer needs and preferences to personalize offerings and improve service.

Implementing ERP Analytics for Business Growth

Aligning analytics initiatives with the organization’s business goals is essential for fully leveraging ERP analytics for business growth. This involves setting clear objectives, identifying the right metrics to track, and ensuring that analytics tools are integrated across all departments.

Aligning Analytics with Business Goals

Aligning initiatives with business goals is essential to gaining the most value from ERP analytics. Define specific objectives to guide your analytics efforts, such as improving production efficiency or enhancing product quality. 

Identify measurable KPIs and metrics that align with your objectives. Prioritize analytics initiatives based on their potential impact, focusing on areas that deliver the most value and drive significant improvements.

Leveraging Data for Strategic Decisions

By leveraging accurate and timely data, executives can make informed decisions that drive overall business growth via enhanced operational efficiency and improved financial performance. 

Some ways to leverage data for improved decision-making include

Scenario Planning: Utilize data to conduct scenario planning and what-if analysis. This helps evaluate strategic options and make informed decisions based on data-driven projections.

Benchmarking: Use ERP data to benchmark your performance against industry standards. Compare key metrics, such as production efficiency and inventory turnover, with industry benchmarks to identify areas where you excel and areas that require improvement. 

Collaborative Decision-Making: Foster a culture of collaborative decision-making by sharing relevant ERP insights with key stakeholders across the organization. 

Strategies for Gaining Actionable Insights

The real value in ERP analytics lies in deriving actionable insights from that data. Actionable insights are meaningful findings that can be directly translated into business decisions and actions. 

Here are some strategies for gaining actionable insights from your ERP analytics:

  • Start with Clear Questions: Begin by defining clear and specific questions that are relevant to your business objectives. 
  • Identify Relevant Data Sources: Determine the data sources that are most relevant to answering your questions. This may include data from various modules of your ERP system plus any additional data sources, such as market research or customer data. 
  • Apply Advanced Analytics Techniques: Use advanced analytics techniques like data mining and machine learning to identify patterns and correlations and uncover deeper insights. 
  • Visualize Data Effectively: Present your findings in a visually compelling way using dashboards to create charts and graphs. 

Utilizing Business Intelligence (BI) Tools

BI tools provide advanced data reporting that goes beyond the standard features of ERP systems. They can provide deeper insights and perform complex analyses. They also provide a user-friendly interface that allows non-technical users to explore and analyze data easily, offering all stakeholders a comprehensive view of operations.

Advanced Analytics: Machine Learning and AI

To reap the full benefits of ERP analytics, manufacturers must go beyond basic reporting and incorporate advanced analytics, including machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), to uncover deeper insights.

ML algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to provide intelligent recommendations to decision-makers. And AI can automate complex tasks, freeing human resources for more strategic activities. 

Predictive Analytics & Enhanced Forecasting

Predictive analytics uses historical data, machine learning algorithms, and statistical techniques to forecast future outcomes and trends that can significantly improve operational efficiency and overall productivity. 

Key aspects and benefits of predictive analytics:

  • Data Collection and Integration:
    • Aspect: Collects and integrates vast amounts of data from various sources, such as sensors, machines, and enterprise systems, to provide a comprehensive view of operations.
    • Benefit: Enhances the accuracy of predictions and insights, leading to more informed decision-making.
  • Machine Learning Algorithms:
    • Aspect: Utilizes advanced machine learning algorithms to analyze historical data, identifying patterns and correlations.
    • Benefit: Predicts potential equipment failures, quality issues, and production bottlenecks, enabling proactive maintenance and problem resolution.
  • Real-Time Monitoring:
    • Aspect: Continuously monitors real-time data to provide early warnings and insights into potential problems before they escalate.
    • Benefit: Allows for proactive maintenance and decision-making, reducing unplanned downtime and extending the lifespan of machinery.
  • Improved Quality Control:
    • Aspect: Identifies factors leading to quality defects, enabling real-time corrective actions.
    • Benefit: Improves product quality, reduces scrap rates, and enhances customer satisfaction.
  • Optimized Production:
    • Aspect: Forecasts demand, and production needs to optimize inventory levels and production schedules.
    • Benefit: Ensures alignment with market demands, reducing lead times and improving resource utilization.

Enhanced forecasting involves using advanced analytical techniques to improve the accuracy and reliability of demand and production forecasts. This helps manufacturers align their production plans with market demand and respond swiftly to changing market conditions.

Key techniques and benefits for enhanced forecasting:

  • Demand Sensing:
    • Technique: Uses real-time data and advanced analytics to capture and analyze market signals, allowing manufacturers to detect demand shifts quickly and adjust their production plans accordingly.
    • Benefit: Improves inventory management by maintaining optimal inventory levels, reducing the risk of stockouts or overstock situations, and minimizing carrying costs.
  • Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP):
    • Technique: Integrates sales forecasts with production planning, ensuring that manufacturing capabilities align with market demand through a collaborative approach.
    • Benefit: Increases customer satisfaction by aligning production with market demand, enabling prompt fulfillment of orders, and enhancing customer loyalty.
  • Scenario Analysis:
    • Technique: Evaluates different market conditions and their potential impact on demand and production, helping manufacturers develop flexible strategies to address various scenarios.
    • Benefit: Provides a competitive advantage by allowing manufacturers to respond quickly to market changes and stay ahead of competitors.
  • Statistical and Machine Learning Models:
    • Technique: Analyzes historical data using advanced statistical models and machine learning algorithms to identify trends, seasonality, and other factors influencing demand.
    • Benefit: Enables better resource utilization by efficiently allocating labor, materials, and equipment to better meet production needs.

Challenges with ERP Analytics Implementation

Implementing ERP analytics can present several challenges, including data integration issues, user adoption, and maintaining data quality. 

To overcome these challenges, it’s important to follow best practices such as

  • Establishing a clear implementation plan.
  • Ensuring data accuracy and consistency.
  • Providing training and support to users.
  • Continuously monitoring and refining analytics processes.

Navigating Data Management Challenges 

Some of the key hurdles manufacturers navigate are integrating data from multiple sources while ensuring its quality and maintaining security. To overcome these challenges, it’s essential to establish strong data governance practices, such as regularly scheduled data audits and updates. 

Choosing the Right ERP Solution for Your Analytics Needs

Finding and selecting the right ERP system to meet your business’s analytics needs can be challenging. At TOP10ERP, we offer comprehensive Manufacturing ERP comparison tools to help manufacturers choose the best system for their needs. 

Compare top erp
Our ERP comparison tools help you quickly find your Best Fit.”

We also provide expert selection help. Our team is ready to offer their knowledge and insights to ensure a smooth process of choosing the right system for your manufacturing business.

Frequently Asked ERP Analytics Questions

Why are KPIs important in ERP analytics?

KPIs provide measurable values that track and compare current performance data and guide strategic decision-making.

What role do dashboards play in ERP analytics?

Dashboards provide a visual representation of key data points, making it easier for executives to monitor performance and share results with other stakeholders.

What are some common challenges in implementing ERP analytics?

Common challenges include data integration issues, user adoption, and maintaining data quality. Following best practices and strong data governance can help address these challenges. Also, many organizations are challenged to implement actionable insights from their data.

What are some key analytics features to look for in an ERP solution?

Key features to look for in an ERP analytics solution include real-time data integration, customizable dashboards, predictive analytics capabilities, and scalability. 

How can manufacturing companies measure the ROI of ERP analytics?

Key metrics to consider when measuring ERP’s ROI include operational efficiency, inventory turnover, production cycle time, and customer satisfaction. 

Pricing Request Demo Request White Paper Request

Please complete the fields below to receive your confirmation email Please complete the fields below to receive your confirmation via email To download your white paper, complete fields below. Check your inbox for the white paper link..

Manufacturing ERP Graphic

Congratulations, you're a step closer to finding the right ERP System.

A confirmation email from is on its way to your inbox. This email will include information on the resources you requested.

Thank you for visiting We greatly value hearing from our visitors. Please share your comments, questions and feedback regarding your experience on