Intelligent manufacturing, fueled by technologies like AI, business intelligence data visualization, and IoT, is reshaping the industrial sector. The global smart manufacturing market is expected to reach USD 214 billion by 2023, growing at 17.2%. While it promises enhanced quality, cost reduction, and efficiency, challenges include skilled workforce demands, data security, and ethical considerations. 


To embrace this shift, selecting the best business intelligence software with real-time analytics is essential. In this blog post, we will discuss the key capabilities that you need to look for real-time analytics in intelligent manufacturing.

What is Intelligent Manufacturing?

Intelligent manufacturing seamlessly combines human skills, advanced robotics, and digital technologies such as big data analytics and machine learning. This comprehensive approach, which includes computer-integrated manufacturing, improves adaptability, flexibility, and production efficiency while streamlining the supply chain and reducing costs. 


Now, let's delve into the essential capabilities required for Real-Time Analytics in Intelligent Manufacturing.


Key Capabilities Needed for Real-Time Analytics in Intelligent Manufacturing

Harness the full potential of the best business intelligence softwarefor real-time analytics in intelligent manufacturing with a suite of essential capabilities:


  1. Real-Time Data Mastery:Best business intelligence dashboards can seamlessly collect and process data from diverse sources like sensors, PLCs, SCADA, ERP, and CRM in real-time, ensuring no latency or loss of critical information.


  1. Dynamic Dashboards: Visualize and communicate data effectively with interactive dashboards, charts, graphs, and tables using the best business intelligence software. Customize and share these insights with various stakeholders for a comprehensive understanding.


  1. Anomaly Vigilance: Employ advanced algorithms and techniques, including machine learning and statistical analysis, to promptly identify and alert stakeholders to any deviations or outliers from expected data patterns.


  1. Intuitive Data Exploration: Enable seamless exploration and drilling into data using user-friendly tools such as filters, slicers, and drill-throughs. This ensures the ability to promptly address questions or queries about the data, fostering a deeper understanding of the manufacturing landscape.


  1. Security: Best Business Intelligence Tools benefits extend to paramount security measures for manufacturing data. Robust data protection, a secure IT-governed environment, and seamless alignment with access control and encryption policies are integral features within your BI software.

The Need for Advanced BI in Manufacturing 

Manufacturing, a complex and competitive global industry, requires meticulous coordination and optimization across processes, resources, and stakeholders to deliver high-quality products and services. However, traditional manufacturing faces challenges such as


  • Inefficient Production: Factors like machine breakdowns, raw material shortages, quality defects, human errors, and environmental conditions can disrupt processes, causing delays, waste, rework, and customer dissatisfaction.


  • Lack of Visibility: Despite substantial data generated in manufacturing, not all is accessible or useful. Inefficient data management may lead to overlooking valuable insights, hampering performance and efficiency.


  • Poor Decision-Making: Relying on intuition, experience, or outdated information in manufacturing decisions can lead to suboptimal outcomes, including overproduction, underutilization, inventory imbalances, and missed opportunities.


To address these challenges, manufacturers must embrace advanced business intelligence tools to convert their data into actionable information. business intelligence platform offers several advantages, including:


  • Improved Operational Efficiency: Monitoring and analyzing key performance indicators such as production efficiency, quality, and costs using BI tools enable manufacturers to identify and resolve issues, optimize processes, and reduce costs.


  • Insight and Oversight of Financial Processes:Business Intelligence Data Visualization tools assist manufacturers in tracking and managing sales, profit and loss, raw materials usage, and resource allocation. Predictive analytics and machine learning help forecast demand, plan production, and optimize pricing and margins.


  • Supply Chain Management: Business Intelligence Tools benefits for facilitating the tracking and control of inventory, shipments, and deliveries are evident. Real-time data and alerts help manufacturers prevent overstocks and out-of-stock, reduce inventory costs and errors, and enhance customer service and satisfaction.


Selecting BI Software for Intelligent Manufacturing: Key Criteria

  1. Scalability: In real-time analytics for intelligent manufacturing, scalability is crucial to handle growing data and diverse user needs efficiently. The best business intelligence software must adeptly manage increasing data volumes, various users, and evolving demands without compromising performance. For example, Grow offers flexible pricing plans that depend on the number of users, data sources, and dashboards, while Google Looker does not disclose its pricing publicly. 

  1. Integration: Essential integration capabilities facilitate seamless communication with diverse manufacturing systems, connecting to sources like ERP, MES, SCADA, PLC, and RFID while adhering to industry standards such as OPC UA, MQTT, and ISA-95. Varying levels of compatibility exist; for instance, Grow supports 150+ data sources, including Salesforce, QuickBooks, Shopify, and Google Analytics, while Zoho Analytics supports 100+ sources, including Zoho apps, cloud storage databases, and web feeds.

  1. Customization: Flexibility and configurability empower users to optimize data models, algorithms, and dashboards, fostering continuous improvement and innovation. However, tools vary in levels of flexibility, configurability, and user-friendliness; for instance, Grow emphasizes charts, graphs, maps, tables, and gauges, while Sisense offers charts, graphs, maps, widgets, and KPIs.

Different Business Intelligence Solutions Comparison




In the Industry 4.0 era, Business Intelligence Data Visualization is essential for optimizing manufacturing. Embrace key BI trends like Data Governance, Self-Service BI, Prescriptive Analytics, and BI-as-a-service for competitiveness.

Grow: The Best BI Software for Manufacturing

  1. Seamless Data Integration: Connect and process real-time data from various sources with native connectors and APIs.

  2. Production Monitoring: Use interactive dashboards to analyze throughput, yield, quality, and cycle time across dimensions.

  3. OEE Dashboard: Enhance overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) with a dedicated dashboard showing availability, performance, and quality metrics, reducing downtime.

  4. Ad Hoc Analysis: Effortlessly explore data, addressing critical questions about factory operations from inventory to supply chain, energy, resources, customers, and markets.

  5. Security: Grow BI tools prioritize data security through advanced encryption, role-based access control, and data masking. Ensure compliance with regulations like GDPR or HIPAA, and confidently manage data governance and privacy policies.


Moreover, Grow provides 24/7 support, diverse training options, post-implementation expertise, including maintenance, data quality checks, and strategic consulting. Access online and on-site training, documentation, and a community forum for a seamless experience. 


For instance, Powerblanket, specializing in custom freeform heating for industrial needs, tackled monthly losses in 2013 by reevaluating processes. The challenge involved linking data to real-time outcomes, hindered by inconsistent spreadsheet updates.  Adopting Grow's BI solution streamlined reporting, real-time tracking, and communication. Democratizing data reduced stress, boosting productivity and earning industry awards.


Elevate your manufacturing processes with Grow's holistic support. Request a free 14-day trial to unlock real-time analytics for your organization. Whether you are looking for a simple data visualization tool or a full-stack business intelligence platform, Grow can help you unlock the answers hiding in your data and drive growth for your manufacturing business.


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