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In 2013, Gartner conducted a survey on Big Data Adoption in Supply Chain Industries and found that adoption has been flat and is lagging behind the overall adoption rate of other industries such as banking, insurance, and retail to name a few. Gartner ascertained that these characteristics pertaining to the Supply Chain industry are attributable to an inherent lack of understanding of what Big Data truly is and a fundamental lack of the required skill sets. This, in essence, is the challenge facing the Supply Chain industry.


In parts one, two and three of this four part series on Big Data, we looked at what makes data “big”, how it can benefit organizations that apply the right analytics, and the implications of doing so, respectively. In the closing segment of this series, we focus our attention on examples of how elements of Big Data can be leveraged. The challenges identified by Gartner translate to opportunities regardless of your organization’s analytical maturity level.


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Information technologies have evolved and so have the expectations of the business community. Do you remember when the main objective was automation? Now organizations who continue to view their supply chain applications as transactional engines are missing huge opportunities. Supply chain applications must provide a competitive edge by offering differentiation, depth of functionality, adaptability and robust analytics. The supply chain is also continuously evolving; its evolution leads us to the value chain.

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