The idea of using data as a tool to drive business decisions began in the 1980s. Since then, advances in hardware and software technologies have dramatically improved our ability to work with data causing radical shifts in how we do business. According to recent studies, the amount of data that is collected daily doubles every two years.  

    A relatively new term that has been adopted by the business world to describe massive data sources that exist within a company is Big Data. Big Data is defined as any kind of data source that deals with extremely large volumes of a wide variety of data arriving at an extremely high velocity. Companies have allocated significant amounts of time and resources to building potential gold mines of information; however, the value of the data sources to the organization depends on their ability to extract meaningful nuggets of information from everything else. The ability for a company to transform data into information in a timely manner is a key basis for competition. 

    The resulting information must be accurate, applicable, and understandable in order to be useful. Any visualization that is used to communicate the information must be intuitive and provide at-a-glance answers for a wide range of business problems and scenarios. Through proper data management and utilization, companies are much better equipped to make sound business decisions in a constantly changing world.
    Utilizing Big Data for parcel business intelligence has strengthened the decision making process. Analytical tools, sophisticated technology, market view, and data-driven solutions are required to manage the complexity of the largest parcel networks. An Accenture study found that 97% of executives report having an understanding of how Big Data analytics can benefit their supply chain, but only 17% say they’ve implemented it in at least one supply chain function. Gaining visibility to data and leveraging it for strategic solutions requires time and resources. That’s why so many successful, high volume parcel shippers are turning to third party providers like Green Mountain Technology to help aggressively manage their parcel spending.

    The key to successfully using Big Data for optimizing supply chains is by pairing visualization tools with expert analysts who can help companies turn the data into answers and solutions. Analysts can use these tools to not only see trends, but also to model various scenarios. Companies can become more confident making decisions when they’ve had the opportunities to consider dozens of scenarios with real-life, interactive models built on their historical, supply chain data. Expert analysts add a vital layer of optimization by guiding you through the process so instead of drowning in data, you can be armed with concrete solutions.

    As technology advances, parcel business intelligence tools will become vital for the shippers who want to stay competitive. In a rapidly changing industry, companies must have the capacity to be agile in their decision making and that requires having access to data-driven solutions.
    Interested in learning more about this topic? Attend Michael Lambert’s session at the 2015 Parcel Forum, titled “Big Data Analytics: Using Business Intelligence to Manage Complex Parcel Networks,” on Wednesday, Oct 21 from 8:00 a.m. – 8:50 a.m. Learn more.
    Michael Lambert is VP of Strategic Solutions, Green Mountain Technology and Kris Taylor is Director of Business Intelligence, Green Mountain Technology
     

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