Then imagine you had no access to a TV of any kind.
That’s the conundrum facing many a supply chain. Lots of data, but no way to understand how that data is impacting their business beyond miles of spreadsheet cells.
This week I attended SMC³’s first Logistics Technology Summit, part of the technology provider and trade association’s annual JumpStart conference in Atlanta.
And the biggest takeaway for me was that data visualization tools are as important as the data itself.
As one speaker at the conference said, it’s impossible for the human mind to process voluminous amounts of data – it’s much easier to see that data represented via dashboards and maps.
It’s a key distinction – the volume of data being created every second literally dwarfs what was created a decade ago. Graves showed a slide indicating that it took 1,000 years to generate an exabyte of data in 2003. Now it takes 10 minutes. And 90 percent of all data ever produced has been created in the last two years.
The issue gets more pressing as more and more devices that collect data but are largely cut off from broader networks are linked to those networks – in other words, the internet of things concept.
This has particular relevance to the supply chain world for two reasons – transportation and logistics has notoriously lagged other sectors in terms of technology adoption (though the tide is changing rapidly) and because the need for supply chains to be networked is critical.
Some shippers and service providers, however, will want to build their own visualization tools to draw data from multiple systems. It’s a function of a company’s appetite to take on such projects, and the capability of their IT department.
Either way, make sure to have a TV to view all that cool programming you’re going to be receiving from your supply chain systems.