Dealing With Data Surplus from Supply Chain Analytics

Most businesses use analytics, but it can be challenging to sort through the useful and the useless information. Some businesses suffer from an overflow of data their analytical practices produce, while others try to avoid them completely for fear of being overwhelmed.

A number of surveys that have recently been conducted revealed that companies swing between those who are aware of tools for advanced analytics and others who have yet to embrace the technology. The problem is usually not a lack of awareness of the benefits of advanced analytics, but rather, companies are unsure how to harness the data efficiently and apply it across their entire organization.

A recent article in Telematics Update suggests hat vendors would be wiser to focus their energy on presenting their data in a consumable way rather than putting all of their resources into a sales pitch. This would provide compatibility with the legacy systems of end users and align solutions with their key performance indicators.

Another example of the challenges faced are well described by the outcomes of a recent Accenture survey, where it is claimed that only one fifth of respondents said they were “very satisfied” with the outcomes of their analytics operations. The data also makes it clear that the problem is not a lack of effort—two thirds of responding companies had appointed a senior data officer at some point during the last eighteen months, while 7 out of 10 hadn’t appointed someone.

The survey suggests that companies analyze too much unimportant data, which distracts them from working on the data that matters. These are usually companies who have attempted to industrialize their analytics program across their operations and thus redesigned how their key processes are carried out according to the insights generated. This should lead to better outcomes for the businesses, but they often fall short when it comes to establishing the key drivers of the business and measuring them against the correct metrics.

Jerry O’Dwyer, of Deloitte Consulting, summed these problems up well when he claimed in 2012 that companies who perform analytics in a variety of different areas in the supply chain, such as demand planning or spend analytics, are missing out on opportunities a more expansive approach could potentially yield. Every type of company can benefit from in-depth analysis of the supply chain by gaining the opportunity to increase value across their enterprise.