Big data analytics is transforming the supply chain

The surge in data creation across the supply chain is offering huge insights for companies wanting to know more about their customers and their purchasing behaviour. However, harnessing the power of big data needs a strategic drive.

Recently, an Accenture study of over 1,000 senior global executives revealed that while 97 per cent understood how big data could benefit their supply chain, a mere 17 per cent stated that they had implemented any strategies.

We look at the ways that big data can secure opportunities and revolutionise supply chain management.

Analytics, big data style

The amount of data being collected globally is accelerating at rate exceeding 59 per cent per year. Analytics allows this data to be wrangled with the goal of identifying patterns that leads to more efficient business decisions. While big data analytics has its roots in the marketing department, it is now a sophisticated algorithmic tool that can be applied company-wide particularly to address supply chain challenges.

Supply chain blocks

One of the bonuses of leveraging big data at the supply chain level is that it opens the door for businesses to be more reactive to volatile demand and to reduce supply chain risk.  Big data analytics provides insights into the depth of the supply chain and allows companies to overcome ongoing threats.

Anticipating customer demand

The best way to lose a customer is by failing to meet their expectations. Delivering superior service and fast delivery on the initial engagement is now critical for businesses. Big data analytics help companies gauge customer needs and forecast demand levels.

Improved supply chain efficiencies

Efficiency translates into better bottom line numbers.  Accenture’s research claims that using Big Data analytics in operations can lead to an increase in supply chain efficiency of 10 percent or greater.

Peak assessment of supply chain risk

Big data analytics leverages a combination of historical data, forecast scenario planning and risk mapping to assess potential problems and identify red flags.

Supply chain transparency

Over one-third of companies state that traceability in the supply chain is one of their biggest issues.  Big data solves many problems related to traceability and also reduces the hours involved in accessing and managing product databases.


Geoanalytics can plot the best routes and optimise delivery networks through advanced mapping techniques, paired with the availability of large amounts of location data. Companies can now dynamically analyse millions of data points and model hundreds of potential transport scenarios. The result is real-time visualisation of delivery routes and potential routes.

The leading progressive companies that make use of big data analytics can get a competitive edge on addressing their greatest supply chain challenges. Implementing cognitive computing systems that crunch big data can revolutionise the head and the heart of the control towers of the supply management chain.

Investing in a Master of Supply Chain and Logistics Management can give greater insights into the technology that is driving the future of the logistics industry. Speak to a Student Enrolment Advisor about your options today on 1300 701 171.