Suddenly, the big data is everywhere. Big data is huge (pun intended). The buzz around big data itself is pretty big. How big is big data after all? IDC says that in 2010, the size of digital universe cracked the zettabyte barrier. How big is a zettabyte: That would be a giga-giga-kilo â€“ that is 21 zeroes after 1 or 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
This data consists of everything: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Emails, Web Commerce, Blogs and everything in-between. Almost every click becomes someoneâ€™s data that they are collecting to harness some useful information, most of it in the hope of understanding and then managing consumer behavior for commercial and business purposes.
According to McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), US Library of Congress had 235 terabytes of data by April, 2011. It further states that 15 out of 17 sectors in the United States have more data stored per company than the US Library of Congress. What is the commercial potential of this data? According to MGI, there is a 60% potential increase in retailersâ€™ operating margins possible with big data.
MGI identifies several functional areas where big-data driven efficiencies are possible. No surprises among them: Marketing, Merchandising, Operations, Supply Chain, and new business models.
How will supply chains become part of the big data revolution? How ill it affect the supply chain solutions and technology? How will it provide another opportunity for the supply chain pioneers to create competitive advantage? Here are some starters:
It was a big hype, then it was not, then it was! No matter how you look at it, RFID has the biggest potential to change how supply chains work. While cost of RFID chips has been declining, the biggest reason for low adoption rates has simply been the inability of the companies to leverage the large streams of data produced. What can SKU-level RFID information provide?
While the GPS-based shipment management is entering mainstream, most retailers have yet to scratch the surface when it comes to leveraging this technology to dynamically manage supply-side of the supply chain.
POS data is probably the one part of â€œbig-dataâ€ supply chain processes that have been leveraged to an extent by some pioneers. P&G and Wal-mart sharing the POS data to collaborate better is well known. What else can a POS data stream do for you?
Â© Vivek Sehgal, 2012, All Rights Reserved.
Extracting Value from Chaos, June 2011. By John Gantz and David Reinsel. IDC.