Big Data is a major topic right now. Let me give a little analogy here. Have you been to a chain store lately and used the same credit card you have used before at pretty much the same store? Have you noticed that the coupons that spit out with your receipt are becoming more and more relevant to your actual purchases? They assigned you a tracking ID, tracked your purchases, looked at other things relevant to you at that moment…like seasons, your wedding registry, your recent home renovations…and connected the dots to try and sell you wedding favors and landscaping lights and a hat for the upcoming Spring.
That’s Big Data. The corporation you buy from has started tracking your regular purchases and figured out how to predict your spend. The same thing is happening in Sourcing as well, actually it has already been happening. As we automate more and more of the sourcing processes and procurement operations and we track consumables from the supply chain to the shelf to the consumers pocket, we learn a lot more about habits, trends, and purchasing power. We can therefore more easily address risk (inventory levels, supply interruptions), leverage pricing (issue discounts, take rebates) and innovate and collaborate. Of course, Big Data requires infrastructure, which is why companies are moving towards the cloud. Imagine all of those transactions being tracked that data warehouse just gets bigger and bigger and more and more traffic comes in as we’ve got to figure out how to mitigate that risk and have someone else carry the burden of addressing the risk and costs of it.