Let’s start off with a statistic.
By 2019, it has been predicted that the total number of smartphone users around the world will be 2.5 billion.
That’s a very large number. And depending on your business, that can be an eye-catching picture if your goal is to have your business reach as large a market as possible.
However, it is only ever one big number. It doesn’t necessarily tell you that all these smartphone users are going to buy your products or increase foot traffic in your chain of stores.
These are the challenges that you can tackle head-on with just the right big data initiative in your organization. We need to break down those large numbers and identify the areas which create more direct results such as increases in sales, value drivers, reduced maintenance costs among others.
Previously, we discussed how this is done via data censoring and how it can even generate additional revenue for your business. In this post, however, we’ll be giving you a few scenarios so you can better see the range of applications big data can have for your demand-driven supply chain.
#1. Turn-of-the-Century Trends
The rise of smartphones is but a herald to a whole host of trends shaping the dawn of the 21st century. A good example is the rapid transition from ordering fast food by telephone to ordering online and eventually, to ordering with just mere swipes on your smartphone.
Business Insider has already predicted that by 2020, mobile ordering will account for 10.7% of U.S. fast food restaurant sales. In just the last five years, we have become accustomed to ordering our Big Macs with a tap instead overcrowding the store during lunch time.
Given the vast amounts of information that can be generated by smart devices, you will need larger and more powerful tools to process this influx as it streams. It is not enough to simply develop a mobile app and them miss out on the clear opportunity to learn about your customers based on the way they use it.
You can have the most brilliant and insightful data analysts on your team but the sheer speed and volume of information you’d want them to break down will be too much for manual processing. Big data tools can serve as powerful extensions for them to instantaneously organize what customers are frequently ordering. This, in turn, creates a powerful impact that reverberates across your demand-driven supply chain (such as determining which items need to ramp up or decrease in production).
- The Fall of Giants
When internet-based business was on the rise, there was no doubt that others would fall. We’ve seen it happen with video rentals like Blockbuster. We’ve also seen it in the curious chapter 11 of Toys R ‘Us.
Speaking of the latter though, did you know that Toys R ‘Us was once a frequent face during America’s notorious holiday shopping day? This November will mark the very first time the iconic toy chain will not be participating.
But already, rival companies and brands are flocking to fill in the big gap they left behind. Such is the phenomenon that occurs when giants fall in the midst of a technological revolution and it doesn’t end there.
Where do you think these competing companies get the information to accurately act upon such a large opportunity? They get it from big data.
Back in the old days, it used to be that the death of a company was as painful and drawn out for opportunistic competitors as it was for the deceased firm. Information on where exactly a competitor will leave a gap was still stifled by unfounded speculation and barely educated guesswork. Market and demand research would still be a slow crawl compared to the agility we can achieve today..
Because without big data, you are only guessing if you have already fallen behind.
- Great Societal Shifts
Technology isn’t the only revolution to watch out for these days. There are also great societal shifts that were only indirectly spurred by technology. For instance, even the average consumer can see the link between the spread of information on social media and the sudden scrutiny on food brands with regards to perceived quality.
You also have the classic case of emerging countries and their emerging markets. Take the recently reported wool boom here in Australia for instance. It is not just driven by local industry but also demands from abroad, particularly China:
Within the spectacular success story of Australian wool’s demand-driven gains over the past few years, reaching a recent breakthrough price of $20 per kilogram, there is another perhaps even lesser known triumph on the back of Chinese demand and the rise of athleisure wear: the even faster surge in price for superfine wool.
Economies like those in China are potential markets that are waiting to be tapped. However, forecasting such growth requires data from numerous sources from the much larger, global economy. In an age that has been shaped by the sharing of information, it only makes sense that the big data platforms must be in place in order for your organization to participate.
The world may have gotten smaller thanks to the internet. In another way, it has become bigger as the increasing connectivity and accessibility churns out volumes of data every minute requiring clever minds, tools, and techniques to wade through the noise to extract the most truly extraordinary intelligence possible from Big Data which will guide your organisation to continuing success.
Don’t miss out, make sure you are making the most of your Big Data today!