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Data, social data and big data

Data, social data and big data
JOS VAN HILLEGERSBERG: Welcome to the session on IT technology for supply chain innovation. In this session, we look at the different types of data– structured data, open data, linked-open data, social media data– and how this all is exploding in what we call the big data revolution. Where really companies in the supply chain have to understand how all these different types of data can help them to improve their supply chain. There is now a movement towards making data more open, and also documenting the meaning of data much more. This is really important development for supply chain professionals.
As we are always worried in supply chain about getting the right information in time, to know about our production, our distribution our planning, the sales, and so on. And all of this data is not one tier away, but can be many tiers away by completely different companies that own that data. Also we like to have external data, like data about weather or about traffic jams, that kind of market development. And a lot of data’s available, but it’s very hard to get to and it’s very hard to integrate into our process. Open data and linked-open data are a series of web standards that enable us to improve in this field.
It pushes companies, and enables companies, to move away from keeping the data to themselves in a very proprietary format to publishing this data open on the web using machine-readable formats. And not just data sets, but also the meaning of these data sets. It’s a set of standards that can be used to publish the data in a meaningful way and also create the data in a meaningful way. And this is really useful for supply chain because if we start sharing the data and also the meaning of data, we can enhance the performance of the supply chain. Another development that is really important to supply chain is the rise of social and unstructured data.
Remember that’s our core systems, like our transport management systems, warehouse systems, enterprise resource planning systems, already produced a little of data. And this data’s really restructured. It tells us about our production process, our distribution process, our planning, our sales. But we can add to this the rich data that comes from social media. Think of all the discussions going on, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, about our products, about the feeling of people, the sentiments, the market developments, the fashion. They all have a big impact on what people buy, people use, or people like, and more and more tools are becoming available to do analysis on these kind of social and unstructured data.
This is important for us because if we know what’s going on outside our own process, we can also predict much better what is going to happen in the future. Here you see an example of a company that used to be quite stable, trustful, and was doing a sales, and so on. And now suddenly, because of some new news items, became very heavily debated and also called for a lot of negative sentiment on social media. This is really interesting to know for supply chain professionals because it can help us to improve our predictions and also to know whenever we have to adjust our processes and planning.
The innovations in IT allow us to not only deal with structured data, creating structured data and improving our supply chain using that data, but also including semi-structured and completely unstructured data. More and more we are able to also analyse audio, visual images, geographical data, trends. And this whole set of data has to be combined to give us the intelligence about what’s going on in our supply chain. The unstructured data is growing in importance. So it used to be a nice add-on. And now it’s sometimes the essence of predicting what’s going on and understanding where the problems are.
This is a big challenge for the companies in the supply chain because historically they’ve been running their resource planning systems, their transport management systems. They have that in place. But now they have to add a new layer of systems, and also they have to integrate these systems together. And this new layer is dealing with much higher volumes of data. We refer to this development as big data revolution. We’re talking really big data coming from social media, coming from sensors, from the internet of things that gives us all this information about what’s going on. This concludes our session on the different type of data.
Remember that open data and social media data are relatively new, and add to the traditional view that we only have structured data to manage and improve our supply chain. It’s really important to understand that open data, social data, big data, are really important to improve our understanding of our supply chain, and also to see where we can innovate and improve our supply chain further.

In this video you will learn about the growing importance of using data in supply chains.

You will learn about what structured and unstructured data is. You will see that big data is becoming available and volumes and complexity of data will continue to grow. What is open data and how can you use it to improve and innovate your supply chain?

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Supply Chain Innovation: How Technology Can Create a Sustainable Future

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