You have probably heard about Big Data. Barack Obama’s re-election team famously used Big Data to effectively target and communicate with swing voters to convince them to vote for their candidate. Retailers are using Big Data to better understand their customers, business, and suppliers.
What Is Big Data?
Big Data is the collection, organization, and analysis of large amounts of data. Much of the data may be in an unstructured format that does not fit into traditional relational data bases. Data can come from both inside and outside the organization. Data volumes can quickly grow in size to many terabytes.
How Is It Used?
You may have heard the expressions “You can not manage what you can not measure,” or “what gets measured gets done.” Big Data provides useful measurements by applying advanced analytic tools to a diverse set of data.
Big Data enables managers to measure and know radically more about their businesses than ever before and then translate that knowledge into improvements.
Netflix uses Big Data to recommend movies. Amazon uses it to recommend not only books but also products in a wide diversity of categories. Other online retailers have caught on and provide similar kinds of recommendations. But that is only the tip of the Big Data iceberg.
Big data casts a big net. Retailers are now gathering and understanding information about:
- Quality of products
- Social media conversations
- Online reviews
- Mobile shopping interactions
- Product winners and losers
- Inventory management
- Supply chain performance
What Big Data Means to Suppliers
Retailers are just beginning to use Big Data. But already they are gaining significant insights into how their customers interact with them before and after purchases. They increasingly know about consumer perceptions of your products in the market place. This means you need to be aware of what customers are saying online about your products. It also means you may have the opportunity for joint online promotions.
Retailers are developing new insights into inventory levels and determining how to respond competitively to changing consumer expectations for shopping and delivery. Be prepared for changing shipment requirements and possibly smaller and more frequent orders. See my recent posts on the extraordinary changes in consumer expectations and retailer responses to learn more about that.
CovalentWorks EDI solutions are constantly updated to stay current with the evolving requirements of retailers. Contact us anytime to learn more.The Impact of Big Data on Suppliers by Steve Brewer