6 Ways Big Data is enhancing the global supply chain

As global supply chains become more complex and customers more demanding, the race is on to develop software applications that can effectively manage and make sense of the zettabytes of data being generated by our digital world.

By ·

Defined as the massive volume of structured and unstructured data that can’t possibly be processed using traditional software or database strategies, Big Data is affecting every corner of the business world. It’s no surprise, really, seeing that more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire history of the human race. By 2020, roughly 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created for every second for every human being and, at that point, the digital universe will be 44 zettabytes strong (up from a current 4.4 zettabytes).

As supply chain managers scramble to wrap their arms around the reams of information now at their fingertips, a growing number of software providers are making the task more manageable and useful. In other words, simply having the data at your avail isn’t enough; it’s about taking that information and transforming it into actionable insights that help drive operational efficiencies across the supply chain.

“Supply chains are more complex than ever, and with these complexities come many challenges,” says Shannon Vaillancourt, president at RateLinx. “Big Data allows companies to diagnose the issue so they truly understand what is causing it.” Of course, capturing the data and then using it to make good decisions are two entirely different things. To help fill that “gap,” Vaillancourt says software developers are focusing on the 5 Vs of Big Data: variety, velocity, veracity, volume and value.

Vaillancourt says the final “v” is extremely important and often overlooked. “Companies need to be looking for software that turns all of their data into value—or, actionable,” he points out. “Actionable data is created through analytics; it’s the analytics that tells the user what to do, and ultimately what action to take.”


About the Author

Bridget McCrea, Editor
Bridget McCrea is a Contributing Editor for Logistics Management based in Clearwater, Fla. She has covered the transportation and supply chain space since 1996 and has covered all aspects of the industry for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. She can be reached at [email protected], or on Twitter @BridgetMcCrea

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Big Data · Blockchain · Cloud Technology · SAP · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) / Inventory Management Technology: 6 Trends for the Modern Age
Here’s how the next generation of warehouse and inventory management systems are evolving to help logistics operations operate more efficiently and improve their bottom lines in our brave, new digital age.
Download Today!
From the March 2018 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
We know e-commerce is reshaping logistics, but what are the technologies savvy managers can leverage to meet evolving requirements and shifting operational constraints? We’ve rounded up insights from leading analysts to share tools that are available now as well as what’s on the horizon.
Reverse Logistics in the “Age of Entitlement”
Logistics Management’s Viewpoint on E-commerce: Leveraging available tools
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Securing IoT data across the connected supply chain
Learn why a holistic approach to IAM is the most effective way to govern access to your systems and information requested by your partners, vendors, customers, and connected devices.
Register Today!
Evolution of E-commerce: The possibilities of tomorrow
We know e-commerce is reshaping logistics, but what are the technologies savvy managers can leverage...
State of Global Logistics: Delivering above and beyond
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and...

2018 Rate Outlook: Economic Expansion, Pushing Rates Skyward
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued...
Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...