January 18, 2019
Improving performance in the chemicals and natural resources industries using analytics
By: Mark Graham Brown

Analytics for Moving the Performance Bar Higher

Chemical and natural resources companies have been at the forefront of measuring and controlling key variables during manufacturing and processing to ensure consistent quality products. With advancements in collecting big data and analytics, there are ample opportunities to apply the same science of measurement, feedback, and control to nonproduction aspects of performance. Using analytics to address issues such as safety, customer relationship management, employee engagement, and risk has helped many companies achieve big improvements in growth, customer loyalty, and market share as well as reducing costs and risk.

To capitalize on the promise of big data and analytics, you need to determine how to construct the best analytics and apply the best practices for reporting and displaying analytics data. This approach not only improves the accuracy of performance analysis but also helps save time wasted in meetings reviewing endless charts and graphs when only a small fraction of the data needs immediate attention or corrective action. For example, how can you:

  • Ensure you are not always looking at the past when measuring and managing performance?
  • Ensure your predictive analytics accurately predict future performance?
  • Apply big data and analytics to improve process management?
  • Develop predictive safety analytics that address both process and employee behavior?
  • Avoid using hard-to-read spreadsheets and present data in simple hierarchical pyramids?
  • Alert mangers to minor problems without requiring them to review hundreds of charts?
  • Increase the effectiveness of monthly performance review meetings?
  • Ensure your performance improvement action plans produce desired results?

But perhaps the most important experience may be what you find in answering these questions. For example, a natural resources company thought they were losing engineers due to a desire to achieve higher pay or dissatisfaction with managers. However, by answering questions like these, the company found that the largest factors driving this turnover was lack of challenging work assignments and forced travel. Without analytics, the company would have followed conventional wisdom and implemented an action plan that had no hope of improving their desired outcome of lower engineer turnover.

Does your company use the data it collects to improve performance with analytics? The Accenture Academy courses Predictive Analytics in the Chemical and Natural Resources Industries, Process Excellence Analytics in the Chemical and Natural Resources Industries, Safety Analytics in the Chemical and Natural Resources Industries, Analytics Pyramids for Leaders in Chemical and Natural Resources Companies, and Using Analytics Data to Take Action in Chemical and Natural Resources Companies will provide you with information on the best analytics practices used by leading companies, as well as best practices for ensuring the analytics are understood and applied to achieve measurable performance improvements.

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