Posted by: productivityinc | September 20, 2012

The Art of Data Collection

We were recently asked how often an organization should calculate OEE.  The answer is…it depends.  I know, that’s the typical Consultant answer…but it really does depend, here’s why…

OEE is about collecting DATA and analyzing it to understand the equipment/process and the necessary activities needed to improve it.  OEE was initially a way to better understand the activities needed to elevate constraint and bottleneck operations.  It assigns a numerical value to waste/opportunity.  Today it’s being used effectively across the value stream.

Daily calculation offers a means for you to keep your finger on the heartbeat of the process by analyzing daily the Availability, Performance, Quality of OEE.  If, however, you want to analyze a trend, then looking at numbers on a daily basis isn’t going to give you a larger enough sample to come to any conclusions.  In this case you’d be better off calculating OEE weekly or even monthly depending on your need.

We’ve come to realize that data collection is an art!  Knowing what data to collect, how frequently to collect it and how to interpret and act upon it can be tricky.  We’ve worked with organizations that don’t collect any data and those that collect data on everything.  We don’t recommend either approach.  The data you collect and the intervals you collect it should depend on what you are going to use the data to determine.  Remember…at the end of the day the number alone means nothing, it is what you do with the information you gain from the numbers that counts.

If you have a question around data collection, email us at If you would like to chat about it give me a call at 203-225-0451.

Ellis New

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