Each and every one of us is producing and releasing data about ourselves on a daily basis. The volume of data is simply exploding; in fact, more data has been generated in the last couple of years than in the entire previous human history (90% of data to be precise). With an overwhelming amount of web-based, sensor-generated and mobile data arriving at a Zettabyte scale, new insights of relevance to any business and organization can be obtained.
However, there is a catch – data is only useful when you utilize it properly and at the moment, only 0.5% of data is analyzed and used correctly, according to MIT. In spite of this, it is important not overlook the opportunities the vast amounts of data presents. As the usage of mobile devices escalates in the workplace, so does the interest in mobile BI applications among managers and corporate executives. As a result, more and more business intelligence managers are evaluating the benefits and challenges of implementing a BI mobile strategy.
In this article, we will focus on supply chain marketing in order to establish how a relationship between analytics and big data results in more proficient business process.
Business Intelligence and SCM
In recent years, business intelligence has become a must for the transport and the supply chain sectors. Moreover, BI/analytics has become the highest-ranked functionality demanded by the customers, according to a 2015 Aberdeen Group survey of leading supply chain managers. Numerous factors are driving the demand for BI Software; businesses want to manage and control their transport more efficiently, to identify the negative trends in performance and costs and to analyze “what-if” scenarios so they could evaluate different transport strategies.
In addition, supply professionals are flocking to smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices in order to reap the benefits of flexibility and mobility. As a matter of fact, smartphones are the most widely used devices in supply chain operations according to ARC Advisory Group. The software, provided by companies such as SAP, Oracle and JDM, is able to deliver real-time traffic information and suggest alternative routes or provide Geo-fencing to confirm an appointment automatically.
Ultimately, BI is all about translating the information provided by the software into actions that achieve such goals as better consumer service, reduced costs or improved relationships with logistics vendors. The methods shippers use range from simple to complex; some use it to simply categorize their supply chain costs at a more granular level than before, while others use it to iron out even the smallest inefficiencies. Companies use if often to improve their on-time delivery rates, and going for the last 20% of the supply chain that might be working sub-optimally is where business intelligence could really make a difference.
The collection and distribution of data is not a one-way street – the fidelity of data also depends on the input from workers. For example, let us say a third-party trucking fleet is stuck in traffic, blocking the way for trucks of a certain company. This information can be uploaded through a mobile app from truckers in the field so that company’s analytics can instantly re-adjust its predictions.
Mobile apps provide all-party communications across processes such as supply chain management. They allow both internal (business line managers) and external stakeholders (owners of the cargo for example) to have insight into current situations and to be able to update relevant data at any time. In addition, these apps allow people to communicate with multiple parties at once in real-time.
Furthermore, in the contemporary world of Ecommerce, a large number of conversions is achieved with the help of a mobile device. Although a great majority of conversions happens through a PC, from the customer’s perspective, accessibility and responsiveness is the driving factor for increasing conversions (speaking from the seller’s perspective of course). So today we have salesman tools that are focused on social media and communication in general, but are able to provide us with thorough analytics reports as well.
Future of Big Data and Analytics Software
While the BI software does not solve everything, it definitely makes life easier and the business process more proficient. Analytics-based BI gathered from both structured and unstructured data can provide corporate workers with the visibility they never had before. In addition, tools like IMB CM, SAP BO and Panorama, business intelligence software that offers BI-On-The-Go, can increase the efficiency of users with its ease of access, no matter if they are in meetings or on the road.
In recent years, mobile BI has gone from a minor consideration to a must-do item for many companies, and it is easy to see why. The rises of mobile usage and demand from business users for up-to-minute data to help support decision-making have combined to fuel the technology’s growth.
Almost 90% of business leaders believe that big data will have the same impact as the internet on the corporate world. The combination of big data and analytics producing BI makes mobile development essential to any company that wants to remain competitive in the modern market.
Guest Author: Sonya Watts is a passionate business consultant with five-year experience. She has a wide range of interests, including online writing, technology trends and marketing in general and likes to share her own experiences in those fields. You can find her on Twitter.