Though they’ve been the backbone of the past 30 years of analytics efforts in manufacturing, spreadsheets will simply not suffice for the next 30 years. There is too much data, too few engineering professionals, and too many demands for insight from improvements in analytics for spreadsheets to be the primary solution.From the article “The End of the Road for Spreadsheets?” at AutomationWorld.
MarketChorus doesn’t serve the manufacturing industry currently, but we have this same discussion regularly. The content marketing and publishing worlds (that we do serve) are undergoing an industrial revolution currently and could benefit from examining the lessons learned by producers in other fields which have been driven by automation for many years already.
Since before the rise of digital marketing as a separate practice from so-called traditional marketing, marketers have operated with fairly basic technology like spreadsheets and Google Docs. But the speed that the industry is evolving at necessitates that marketing pros set up their game and use better tools to compete.
Much can be learned from looking at data within spreadsheets, to be sure…
But more can be gleaned, and much faster, by leveraging visualization tools (graphs, charts, etc) along with the raw numerical data that fits neatly in the rows and columns of spreadsheets. Data visualization is prohibitively messy in Excel or Google Docs and real-time dashboards are just better suited to the task.
To be fair, most of the practical applications of MarketChorus technology today still involves spreadsheets and CSV exports but as we add features to our content intelligence platform, Resonance, we’ll be prioritizing data visualization as am important area of growth.
Many of us are engineers at heart, and are naturally resistant to this trend, but the reality is that engineers build tools for non-engineers to use and those end users will benefit more from simple visualization tools than complex pivot tables and formulas.
For the more information on this trend in manufacturing technology, read the original article at Automation World.