Big Data vs. Actionable Analytics


“Big Data” has quickly risen as THE top buzzword in business intelligence, but what does it mean in terms of the supply chain’s impact on profitability?

The Answer: Very Little

A recent article defines Big Data as “a generic term for ‘analytics’, except it’s done by ‘data scientists’ rather than ‘business analysts’…. folks like McKinsey and the Harvard Business Review have used it to describe pretty much any business opportunity related to data.”

What do we care if, as the Harvard Business Review says, “The permutations of available data will explode, leading to sub-sub specialized streams that can tell you the number of left-handed Toyota drivers who drink four cups of coffee every day but are vegan and seek a car wash during their lunch break.” While those statistics may be of interest to sales and marketing departments, they hold little value for supply chain owners. With D2C logistics operations expense as high as 30-35% of sales, I’d rather focus on understanding what’s driving order cycle times, shipping expense and returns.

So here we go again, getting distracted by new hype surrounding new technologies. So what if Big Data is Available, is it…





A recent article on business intelligence trends to watch in 2013 says, “Trends for BI and analytics may sound brash and cutting-edge, but for businesses to see success with the new, they’ll still need to master the old.” And that means focusing on the ability to translate complete, accurate and relevant data into ACTIONABLE SOLUTIONS.

You have to be able to turn 1’s and 0’s into X’s and O’s if you want to make plays – so put us in, coach.


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