June 2024 | Report

Data Mastery: A Key to Industrial Competitiveness

The transformative potential of data in manufacturing

Data Mastery: A Key to Industrial Competitiveness

Data mastery is quickly becoming a game-changer in the manufacturing industry, revolutionizing production processes, supply chain management, and operational efficiency.

By harnessing the power to gather, organize, and analyze vast amounts of information, manufacturers can make smarter decisions and drive significant improvements across all areas. 

Manufacturers must tap into the transformative potential of data to enhance factory operations, workforce strategies, and overall business outcomes. The Manufacturing Leadership Council's Manufacturing in 2030 Project dives deep into the opportunities and challenges of data mastery within the industry. Through a comprehensive survey of industry stakeholders, the project has uncovered critical insights you won't want to miss. 

The manufacturing industry anticipates a dramatic increase in data volumes by 2030, emphasizing the need for advanced data management strategies.

2-Minute Takedown


Evolving landscape of data mastery

Recent breakthroughs in data technologies and robust digital infrastructure are propelling the manufacturing industry toward data mastery. The survey found that 61% of companies have a corporate-wide plan for data management—but only 15% fully align their data strategy with their business strategy. These numbers highlight the growing recognition of data's transformative potential as manufacturers embrace data integration to boost productivity and innovation.

Data governance and organization

The intensified focus on data in manufacturing underscores the critical need for strong data governance and organization. The survey found that 90% of manufacturers have formal policies on data security and privacy. However, only 22% of companies link data activities to KPIs or incentives—revealing a gap in leveraging data for strategic advantage.

Manufacturing data

Data is becoming the heartbeat of manufacturing, yet many companies still rely on manual data entry—with 70% reporting its use. The survey indicates a significant increase in data volumes, with 44% of respondents seeing a doubling in the past two years and expectations of a 500% increase by 2030. While 68% use spreadsheets for data analysis, there's a notable shift towards AI and predictive analytics. 

Business impact

Effective data utilization is driving substantial business impact, particularly in operational performance improvements. The survey found that 61% of manufacturers measure data value through operational metrics. However, data integration remains a significant challenge, with 53% of respondents citing issues with data from different systems and formats.


About the Survey

Understanding the challenges that today’s manufacturing executives foresee for the future not only helps leaders develop higher levels of preparedness but also fuels their vision and strategic plans for achieving competitive success and longevity. 

That’s why the Manufacturing Leadership Council launched the Manufacturing in 2030 Project—to enable manufacturers to envision what future manufacturing might look like. As part of the project, the MLC surveyed more than 260 senior manufacturing industry executives, spanning multiple functional roles and representing large, small, and medium-sized manufacturing companies from various industry sectors. 

Armed with this rich combination of real-world predictions and forward-thinking insights, the MLC hopes that manufacturers can better plan their long-term future and find ways to enhance their value, competitiveness, and contribution to society. 

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