"Big data" may be the hottest buzzword in supply chain management at the moment, but there is little agreement on what it is, its purpose, and its role in the future of business. (One commonly used, simplified definition is the analysis of huge amounts of data stored in structured and unstructured databases, in order to find correlations and predict behaviors and results.) Many experts believe that it will revolutionize industry by enabling managers to make more informed, data-driven decisions. Other observers, however, suggest that big data's value is overblown and that it is little more than an extension of more traditional analytics or market research.
Global Managerial Perceptions of Big Data Strategy in Supply Chain Management, a new study from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP), examines the big data "craze" and how supply chain partners view it in relation to business strategy development.
The research found that some companies are questioning how they would use big data in the future. Many managers, for instance, find it challenging to develop and/or implement integrated systems and infrastructure that are compatible with big data. They also are concerned about transparency, how to determine "one version of the truth," and their ability to hire data scientists with the appropriate analytical and technical skills. Finally, some managers still distrust the data itself, pointing out that these databases can potentially be manipulated either by mistake or on purpose. Examples of such manipulations include altering data based on analysis needs, making miscalculations, or making mistakes during data entry.
Global Managerial Perceptions of Big Data Strategy in Supply Chain Management is free to CSCMP members and US $15.95 for nonmembers. Ordering information is available here.