Where Are You Really In Taming The Big Data and Analytics Monster?

Richard Sharpe Analytics & Big Data



There are often two answers that I hear when talking to companies about where they are in mastering growing volumes of supply chain data and gaining sustainable value using various forms of business user analytics.

The first response is the one publically offered – “We have made substantial investments in technology and expertise and are well on our way in harnessing real value from our data.”

The second “real” answer, once the door has been shut and confidentiallty agreements have been signed, is one of frustration and disappointment.  “Our progress has been extremely slow.  Yes, we are doing the traditional project exercises like various forms of modeling.  However, it is still difficult to get to the value-added information directly into the hands of the decision makers quickly and consistently for ongoing strategic and tactical needs. Even if they do get this information, there is often an underlying doubt about the quality of the data used in generating the required information.”

Companies need to have a measure of how they stack up against other organizations in their journey to master big data and analytics. To address this need, a survey has been created by a team from Arizona State UniversityColorado State UniversityCompetitive InsightsCSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly and the lharrington group LLC.  The purpose of the survey is to capture meaningful  answers regarding the progress that companies are making in mastering data and the application of meaningful business analytics. The result will be used to create a Supply Chain Industry Baseline that reflects meaningful responses from a multitude of companies, different industry segments and regions of the world.

This survey will be issued on an annual basis to serve as a means to track the progress that companies are making year over year. The comparisons will show where and how companies have been successful. Finally, it will be a resource to understand the actual challenges and frustrations being experienced by companies in their pursuit to master their data and meaningful business analytics. Therefore, the survey findings will be a resource for companies to determine how their efforts measure up to other companies and to serve as input for internal discussion on big data and analytical priorities.

A preview of this year’s findings will be issued, prior to general release, to all of those that respond to the survey. Highlights of the findings will be presented and discussed at the annual Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Conference in September. More detailed results as well as other relevant research will also be published in the Supply Chain Quarterly and DC Velocity.

Over the next following weeks, recipients of Supply Chain Quarterly, DC Velocity and Competitive Insights‘ monthly newsletter will be receiving this electronic survey that has been carefully designed to create this industry Baseline.  Responses will only be used to create the Baseline and the associated correlations and findings.  No individual response will be published or referenced in the results or used for any company solicitation.

The more companies that respond and the more honest their responses, the stronger the results will be for EVERYONE in the Supply Chain Industry. Please take the survey HERE or at colostate.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bO98R0OrXZTnxYN

All the best,


Richard Sharpe

Richard Sharpe is CEO of Competitive Insights, LLC (CI), a founding officer of the American Logistics Aid Network(ALAN) and designated by DC Velocityas a Rainmaker in the industry. For the last 25 years, Richard has been passionate about driving business value through the adoption of process and technology innovations. His current focus is to support CI’s mission to enable companies to gain maximum value through specific, precise and actionable insights across the organization for smarter growth. CI delivers Enterprise Profit Insights (EPI) solutions that enable cross-functional users to increase and protect profitability. Prior to his current role, Richard was President of CAPS Logistics, the forerunner of supply chain optimization. Richard is a frequent speaker at national conferences and leading academic institutions. His current focus is to challenge executives to improve their company’s competitive position by turning enterprise wide data from a liability to an asset through the use of applied business analytics.