The great divide: Creating silos with data analysis systems

Barb ClearyOnce upon a time, there was a manufacturing facility in Ohio that happily utilized Excel data in its quality management system, with some ten years of data organized in a way that was appropriate and useful to the quality manager and his department as they looked for correlations between problem metrics and other metrics that might have contributed to the problem.

In the same plant, a separate automation system was monitoring and recording data on metrics gathered throughout the facility. This system could bring up run charts from hundreds of metrics where data had been automatically recorded, and charts were available whenever anyone needed them.

Sounds fine, right? Unfortunately, this was not a happily-ever-after story, but an example of ways that different systems fail to speak to one another. But wait—there will be an answer to this dilemma.

The quality manager was looking for correlations. But he could look only at the Excel system that was used in his department. Meanwhile, on the other side of the data divide where the production manager and process engineers, in their own silo, used a different system for data analysis, a number of production-system metrics were in fact contributing to the problem metrics, but the correlation could not be identified. The two systems, sadly, could not talk to each other.

The happy accident lay in the quality manager’s discovery of CHARTrunner. Using CHARTrunner Lean, the quality manager removed the charting and data analysis from one of the systems—in this case, the quality department—and used CHARTrunner to create charts that visualized and compared metrics from both systems. So there was a happily-ever-after ending, after all.

In this example, there were only two systems separated by their approaches; in many organizations, there may be five or six different systems to be bridged with a CHARTrunner application.

How well do your systems collaborate and support each other? Check out CHARTrunner for help with bringing them together.