The past few years saw the coming of a new and increasingly familiar phenomenon: Big Data. What, however, is Big Data? And are you perhaps already, and unconsciously, using Big Data?
Big Data is a collective name for all large information currents found within an organisation, to be interpreted plainly as ‘a huge quantity of data’. All of these information currents contain massive amounts of data, which are subsequently read out in business processes that use and adapt these data, before forwarding them to the next-following business process. Big Data is of a size so big that the information contained cannot be read out by regular systems for database management. Its size, data speed and many variables make it ‘Big Data.’ Just compare it to your familiar, conventional filing cabinet. All data it used to contain are now found in computers, yet with the difference that any possible correlations between data are now analysed far more easily. Big Data may help you understand correlations in a better way and may enable you to respond real-time. Many companies, including transport and logistics firms, depend on (massive) data information currents, each of these often requiring different systems if they need to be analysed.
Big Data may be deployed in various ways to obtain insight in both internal and external factors. A major internal factor, for instance, is the supply chain. The people in this department would prefer a real-time overview of all figures regarding turnover, sales, manufacturing and flows of products/services inside the company. All data required in this respect originate from various data sources. The difficulty here is to determine proper algorithms before applying them to the database in order to retrieve the records required. Wish to find new correlations among all these data? Just try formulating a random algorithm and apply it to your data files. Named ‘unsupervised learning’ this is a very interesting way of discovering new possibilities and improved insights.
In addition to using Big Data for improvement of internal processes, observation of external factors may also make sense. Take your customers for instance. What are their needs and requirements, and how to instantly respond to them?
To match up better with your customer, it is in the first place important to have a well-organised client database. This will make it easier for you to add variables. A website visit for instance will make it easy for you to find out about possible interests in products or services and common patterns used by the customer in question. And possible requests for information or invitations for tender may of course be linked up with the client database. New insights are formed by identifying correlations between the various data files, like tendering history, demographic characteristics and customer relationship. To you and your company, these correlations imply many benefits and advantages. Just consider the possibility of continued development or expansion of existing products and services, mapping out user requirements and qualifying (customer) data. Joining and analysing the various data currents will result in a clear and unambiguous picture of real-time possibilities offered by individual customers or groups of customers.
Naturally, obtaining insight in ‘Big Data’ entails a huge challenge to many companies, including transport and logistics firms. The use of innovative online tools like DKV eReporting will already give you an edge, as it delivers clear and transparent reports on your fleet amidst the tangled web of data. And of course you can use these reports as a seamless base for subsequent data searches and requests. Meanwhile, DKV Euro Service will continue innovating in its (online) tools for even better insight in data to be obtained in the most efficient ways. So if you should wish to share your tips and experiences with us, please do not hesitate and let us know. We are open to your ideas and suggestions!
You drive, we care!