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Harnessing Big Data: Building and Maintaining Capabilities that Deliver Results

Many companies don’t yet get lasting value from the data so widely available to them. Harnessing large volumes of data—internal or external; analog or digital—requires identifying and prioritizing the opportunities that hold the most promise, developing analytic skills to convert data into actionable information, and forging tight, ongoing links between data experts and business functions. Here’s how to think, in business terms, about how data can help drive supply chain results.

By ·

“Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink,” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his 1798 poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In today’s corporate environment, we might well exclaim: “Data, data, everywhere, but how in the world shall I put it to profitable use?”

With every online survey from shoppers, every GPS signal from a truck or train, every Tweet from the head of marketing, and every RFID-tagged package speeding off to the shrink-wrap station, companies have more data than they know what to do with. Supply chain operations in particular are hotbeds of data—inputs sought, captured, and reported to improve efficiencies, accelerate throughput, enhance customer service, contain costs, and make it easier to utilize assets and manage risks.

For many business leaders, the fashionable response has been to get excited about so-called “Big Data”—the term du jour that describes the expanding universe of available data outside of that traditionally circulating in a company’s CRM, ERP, or MRP systems and stored in its own data centers. A brief scan of newspapers, business magazines, conference brochures, or a Google search demonstrates that there is no shortage of articles, books, speeches, and course content on the topic.

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By ·
Download Article PDF

“Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink,” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in his 1798 poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. In today’s corporate environment, we might well exclaim: “Data, data, everywhere, but how in the world shall I put it to profitable use?”

With every online survey from shoppers, every GPS signal from a truck or train, every Tweet from the head of marketing, and every RFID-tagged package speeding off to the shrink-wrap station, companies have more data than they know what to do with. Supply chain operations in particular are hotbeds of data—inputs sought, captured, and reported to improve efficiencies, accelerate throughput, enhance customer service, contain costs, and make it easier to utilize assets and manage risks.

For many business leaders, the fashionable response has been to get excited about so-called “Big Data”—the term du jour that describes the expanding universe of available data outside of that traditionally circulating in a company’s CRM, ERP, or MRP systems and stored in its own data centers. A brief scan of newspapers, business magazines, conference brochures, or a Google search demonstrates that there is no shortage of articles, books, speeches, and course content on the topic.

SUBSCRIBERS: Click here to download PDF of the full article.

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SeptemberOctober2015 · All Topics
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