Friday, August 20, 2010

EMI or BI - what are those anyways?

Lately I have had inquiries from a couple of customers about providing “intelligence”, as in manufacturing intelligence, well I believe that is a good topic I said… (Hint, see my blog’s title).

In most cases their curiosity came from either seeing or working with an EMI or Enterprise Manufacturing Intelligence system. However when I asked about how they would like to use the intelligence I found out that they where asking about BI – Business Intelligence behavior, yet they wanted manufacturing metrics like the EMI system’s demo. That is an interesting discussion that I have mentioned a few times in this blog. I believe that what they really want are timely and sometimes real-time intelligence about their manufacturing operations provided in KPI lists, metrics and charts but also analytics capabilities such as “slicing and dicing” and “drill downs”.

Unfortunately I have found that such solutions are rare if they exist at all. It seems that EMI is a separate animal than BI and the problems that they are trying to address are more complicated than they generally convey in their sales and marketing information. Most EMIs do not provide an effective way to aggregate and correlate information to support BI style analytics, while the BI vendors’ understanding of 'real-time' and timeliness leave much to be desired for application in the manufacturing operations world.

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We are using an application called Qlikview and are currently building our own BI datasets/data cubes to help with the What If's. These efforts take longer than expected but once completed are a great asset to the organization.

Gilad Langer said...

I am somewhat familiar with Qlikview... Its great that you are venturing into this. I would love to hear all about it next time we meet.

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