While it is generating interest, the concept of big data also creates a fair amount of confusion. For all their desire to mine insight from the mass of information their companies collect, many corporate leaders are puzzled about how to put big data to work. Among the respondents to the Gartner survey, 56% say determining how to get value from big data is a major challenge, and 41% cite challenges with defining their big data strategies.
What is Big Data?
Big data usually means the practice of collecting electronic information from numerous sources and applying analytics to identify patterns, trends, and other intelligence. The analysis might point to things that have happened but weren’t easy to perceive, or it might help a company predict what will happen in the future.
The “big” part of big data refers to the volume of information available to analyze. In the supply chain realm, that might include data from point-of-sale systems, bar-code scanners, radio frequency identification readers, global positioning system devices on vehicles and in cell phones, and software systems used to manage transportation, warehousing, and other operations.
What about supply chain?
Supply chain professionals in all industries and government sectors must transform their supply chain process to meet organizational strategies and goals. Information fusion breaks down the barriers spanning all demand-supply enterprises. A critical requirement is real-time, high-quality, reliable data and information that enable management action.
This approach provides procurement and logistics professionals sizeable cost savings and improvements in performance, speed, and agility. With a strategic data strategy, logistics companies can more effectively:
- Secure high-risk cargo
- Enable supply chain collaboration
- Enable asset, shipment, and personnel visibility
- Provide supply requirement and maintenance condition predictability
- Eliminate traffic congestion and environmental pollution
Among supply chain organizations, much of the big data action involves mining information from large volumes of business transactions. Shippers use business intelligence tools to pull data from multiple sources, merge and analyze it and create reports to present the results.
For companies that want to harness big data in the supply chain, one major challenge might be finding employees with the knowledge to exploit the opportunity.
“Hire people as quickly as you can,” advises Brethenoux. “An analytics skills gap is developing, and if you start looking in one or two years, the talent won’t be available to help you.”
We’re still at the beginning stages of big data-driven supply chain decision making. There is still much to be squeezed out of current capabilities. Big Data will simplify our supply chain so we work with a smaller group of suppliers on a more strategic basis. Which isn’t to say that small businesses will be negatively impacted, on the contrary Big Data will allow us to more easily identify high-performing, innovative small businesses. In the future, we’ll expect our analytics platforms to constantly be data mining for new partners. This “suggestive” capability will improve performance and protect the bottom line.
If you implement a big data project effectively, valuable new insights and business improvements will follow.
LoGo, as the first marketing and advertising agency specialized on the Logistics Market, can help you improve your business on technological, strategic, commercial and visual ways. Contact us or send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).