09 Jun Do Your Supply Chain Analytics Have Purpose?
Analytics and big data continue to be the rave to improve supply chain performance, though “if you don’t make proper use of data, it’s all but useless” as stated in a related May 2016 Tech.Co post. With supply chain data available from so many new disparate sources – from supplier quality to manufacturing to global sustainability – performance can be dramatically improved in corporations if there is a defined purpose. So why do ‘big data projects’ continue to yield disappointment with executives? It’s because the concept of Purpose Built Analytics was not leveraged. What is purpose built analytics? Here are (3) ideas to introduce the concept:
- Purpose built analytics should be ACTIONABLE. Like most analytical systems, the challenge is information-overload. Think about all the metrics emerging in how we manage sustainability of our global operations now? While manufacturing teams can use and display numerous KPIs, most line leaders only need to focus on a sub-set. Let’s face it: the purpose of a KPI is for someone to take action! A chief supply officer does not need to fully understand every daily problem with supplier quality, but more so see the team able to quickly collaborate to enable problem solving and get behind whatever countermeasure(s) are necessary.
- Purpose built analytics should be CONTEXTUAL. Best practices in using metrics lead to insight, which can be further defined by:
“an understanding of cause and effect based on identification of relationships and behaviors within a model, context, or scenario.” (Wikipedia.org)
In context of supply chain management, we can add the phrase “for a specific purpose” at the end of the definition to have another attribute of purpose built analytics – providing insight based on a very specific purpose. While the massive amount of supply chain information makes it harder and harder to determine how to impact performance, providing purpose-based insight offers teams the right information to improve decision-making. The big opportunity is finding those ‘data nuggets’ of value where we often say it’s too hard or too hidden.
- Purpose built analytics is MORE than just Business Intelligence. To garner insight from such massive amounts of information, more than just pre-build data cubes from IT are needed anymore. We continue to see executives struggle to access data from very different sources – usually with no structure between direct and in-direct KPIs. The challenge to adopt better BI is apparent in supply chain management as reinforced in this 2016 article from Spend Matters. As we create REAL purpose built analytics, a collaborative framework becomes quickly available for teams at any level of the organization to review specific nuggets to take action.
To summarize, purpose built analytics help take standard business intelligence tools to the next level for providing contextual insight and actions for supply chain organizations – both at the group level AND at the individual level.