In the age of information, the mind-boggling amount of data available at our fingertips can seem daunting. Yet, handled in an efficient manner, it can also be immensely useful. Big Data—referring to the use of nontraditional analytics to examine vast amounts of data—has become an increasingly important part of the business landscape. Over the past few years, several prominent corporations have invested in Big Data analytics and are incorporating them into their business strategies—UPS ostensibly spends $1 billion a year on Big Data analysis strategies. Specifically, many are looking at Big Data as a way to further optimize logistics and increase efficiency of commerce. Those who currently utilize Big Data analysis find it essential, warning that other companies who do not adapt to the technology may find themselves left behind.
As e-commerce remains an invaluable tool in shipping and retail, new methods of supply chain management help to increasingly optimize the process. However, there are still some gaps in the line, especially with the "last mile" of product delivery—the process of getting the final goods into the hands of the consumer. Businesses are turning toward Big Data to better regulate this process. It is estimated that the collective amount of business data grows 59 percent every year. Analyzed efficaciously, this data allows businesses to trace products, assess risk, and anticipate demand. It can also ease the operations of parcel volume analysis, customer service, and internet tracking. With all these jobs more efficiently managed, logistics can become further streamlined and save money and time for both the consumer and the business.
Big Data will be a monumental force for the business world in the coming years. Analysis of this data is now an essential component of supply chain and logistics management. Businesses worldwide would do well to take note of this.