January 12, 2015
Everyone is familiar with the phrase “Big Oil.” And thanks to Big Oil, we have the freedom to power up our cars each and every day to go just about anywhere we want to, including daily commutes to and from work. Unfortunately however, Big Oil has its negative side as well. Just mentioning the letters “BP” or the words “Exxon Valdez” and folks immediately think uh-oh, “oil spill!”
While the world continues to rely on traditional oil as the go to source of power for automobiles, trucks and other vehicles that rely on the internal combustion engine, there exists another “big” resource that is becoming increasingly vital in business: Big Data. In fact, market researcher Gartner predicts that “information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.”
Why the fuss over Big Data anyways?
Perhaps you’re not overly concerned about Big Data yet in a big way. Or, you might actually be concerned in a big way and want to know more, so we thought we’d take another look at the subject at the start of the new year. According to a CompITA study, 93 percent of business and IT executives claim Big Data is critically important to their business. Undoubtedly, you’ll hear more and more about Big Data going into 2015.
One reason Big Data is so important is because of one word and one word alone: competition. Organizations worldwide are increasingly mining vast volumes of data searching for that silver bullet that will provide an edge over their competitors. Another reason Big Data is increasing in importance is due to the Internet of Things or IoT. People, devices and machines are increasingly becoming interconnected to each other and the internet. As a result the volume of data they generate is rapidly increasing. For example, the number of web-connected devices globally will increase from 2.5 billion as of 2009 to 30 billion in 2020, according to Gartner.
Big Data defined
There are a number of ways to define Big Data in the 21st century, but Lisa Arthur, author of Big Data Marketing: Engage Your Customers More Effectively and Drive Value (Wiley Publishing), offers perhaps one of the best and most succinct: “Big data is a collection of data from traditional and digital sources inside and outside your company that represents a source for ongoing discovery and analysis.”
However, in order to get enough value from vast amounts of information, businesses need the capability to analyze and react to data in real-time. According to management consultants McKinsey & Co., “the amount of data in our world has been exploding, and analyzing large data sets—so-called Big Data—will become a key basis of competition, underpinning new waves of productivity growth, innovation and consumer surplus.”
The logistics and Big Data connection
In the world of logistics, it’s been said that Big Data and logistics were made for each other. In fact, many logistics providers realize that Big Data is a game changing trend for the logistics industry. In a recent study on supply chain trends (“Trends and Strategies in Logistics and Supply Chain Management”, BVL International, 2013), 60 percent of the respondents stated that they are planning to invest in Big Data analytics within the next five years.
4SIGHT Logistics Solution has demonstrated our Big Data expertise in this area, especially with our 4SIGHT Asset Track system. Asset Track helps track high-value assets (such as work-in-progress inventory and manufacturing equipment) and returnable transport items (such as reusable totes, pallets, racks, kegs, tanks and drums). 4SIGHT Asset Track also gives you the data needed for a comprehensive audit trail, important for reviewing asset history and remaining in compliance with regulatory groups and customer requirements.
Among Asset Track’s capabilities are real-time monitoring that lets you know your assets’ movements and status at all times so you can make immediate decisions, as well as data aggregation which captures and saves historical data for more than 40 different attributes that you can tap into so you can identify and eliminate problems in your operations.