Executive Briefings

What Is Big Data, and How Does It Affect the Supply Chain?

Big data is a term used to describe data sets that grow so large and so fast that conventional reporting and analytics are insufficient. It takes different forms, but what is common is the new world of big data. Let's examine some trends:

1) You see it in new tagging systems for safe and secure supply chains.

2) It is ever-present in demand sensing and the design of listening posts from social networks.  These technologies up the ante on the use of unstructured text and building supply chain systems that can sense, just not respond.  It is one that starts from the outside-in to define the enterprise response.

3) It takes the form of mobile devices that are redefining the workplace. Mobile data has grown eightfold in five years.

4) It is a new world of convergence of visualization, geo-location, and digital media.

5) Partner data is growing exponentially.  What we once thought was just a simple downstream data repository is now being used as the data translator and harmonizer at both ends of the supply chain. It is redefining the world of business-to-business relationships.  Trading partners are starting to share daily data daily.

This is far different than the world of five years ago when data was shared less often; and when it was, it was usually monthly or weekly. And in this world of big data, relational databases and desktop applications - spreadsheets, statistical packages and reporting - are insufficient.

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Big data is a term used to describe data sets that grow so large and so fast that conventional reporting and analytics are insufficient. It takes different forms, but what is common is the new world of big data. Let's examine some trends:

1) You see it in new tagging systems for safe and secure supply chains.

2) It is ever-present in demand sensing and the design of listening posts from social networks.  These technologies up the ante on the use of unstructured text and building supply chain systems that can sense, just not respond.  It is one that starts from the outside-in to define the enterprise response.

3) It takes the form of mobile devices that are redefining the workplace. Mobile data has grown eightfold in five years.

4) It is a new world of convergence of visualization, geo-location, and digital media.

5) Partner data is growing exponentially.  What we once thought was just a simple downstream data repository is now being used as the data translator and harmonizer at both ends of the supply chain. It is redefining the world of business-to-business relationships.  Trading partners are starting to share daily data daily.

This is far different than the world of five years ago when data was shared less often; and when it was, it was usually monthly or weekly. And in this world of big data, relational databases and desktop applications - spreadsheets, statistical packages and reporting - are insufficient.

Read Full Article