What part of your business keeps you up at night?

Making Smarter Decisions in the Business Process

I’m a sci-fi nerd. Growing up, the main antagonist in my favorite series asked a simple question, “What do you want?” As a member of Interstates’ analytics division, I get to ask a slight variation of that question, “What part of your business keeps you up at night?” The answer varies from person to person and from business to business. Yet, they are typically variations of one of two themes:

  1. I am afraid we will miss something within our control; or
  2. I am afraid things out of our control will have a negative impact on us.

Our analytics team focuses on eliminating number one; we help businesses avoid missing something that can negatively impact their bottom line. Much of our work isn’t done through a simple “product” that many in this sector are accustomed to seeing. Our service is not a commodity because, simply put, data science isn’t that simple. Instead, we focus on a process that empowers business owners. Owners can use information they already have to make smarter decisions earlier on in the business process.

This process begins with a version of the question that began this blog post: “What problem are you trying to solve?” Perhaps you are concerned by the amount of material waste your plant is producing. Maybe you are concerned that a certain machine keeps breaking down and you wish you could prevent it before repairs become too expensive. Or you may want to conserve energy in your manufacturing process. Whatever your reasoning, the analytics division works with you to identify a clear, concise question that you can use your data to address.

Getting the Most Out of Your Data

Next, we will help you collect your data. Maybe you are doing this already and maybe you aren’t. The Interstates analytics team can help you collect and report your data more efficiently which helps establish a firm foundation for business decisions. We are vendor agnostic, meaning that we can work with whatever PLC devices you have to make the data process happen. We have worked with a wide variety of vendors, ranging from GE to Rockwell, from Telit to Apteryx.

Then, we can help you explore and visualize existing data. We can find issues with collection methods and quickly address them. Additionally, we can use statistical testing and visualization to note trends and issues that impact your business on any platform. We work on products like Spotfire, Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, Cognos and more. We’ve implemented these tools for a variety of businesses from large companies to small local co-ops.

When you are ready, we can help you model that data in a way that helps you make predictions about what will happen in your business. This will enable you to quickly eliminate waste and other expenses that hurt your bottom line. In this way, the analytics team isn’t a vendor like you may be accustomed to. We are a partner. A partner who works with you through every step of your business process to make sure you succeed. At Interstates, your victories are also ours.


Lee Lohff, Interstates Business Analyst