When Douglas Adams wrote The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, he added a central joke which has become more famous over the years than the novel itself: "The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is 42."
Like most things in life ( especially statistics ) the answer you get depends on the question you ask.
Torturing the data until they confess is NOT the answer.
Knowledge and experience will give the proper insights into what data to look at and how.
Process Improvement and automation go hand in hand.
Adding automation to a poor process, just increaes how fast you can make the same mistakes.
Having a great process requires taking advantage of world class automation already out there.
You can not control what you do not understand.
Many business people are very comfortable with the most basic of process measurement systems ( Accounting ).
- Accounting measures the profits ( or losses ) you are making.
- Accounting measures the expenses or goods and services bought.
- Accounting measures the income coming in from your customers.
Most businesses have many measurements to control their business from the PLCs to control a production process to the IT department .
How you get the data and analyze those measurements, is where automation integrates with the business.