Managing the Avalanche of Big Data and Digital Business Analytics
Big Data, and its first cousins Information Analytics and the Internet of Things, are revolutionizing processes and business models in advanced sectors of the metals industry. Clearly it is an opportune moment for everyone along the industrial metals supply chain to look carefully at their business models and operations to adapt to this flood of new technology.
Those who are embracing it more fully are using data collection and analysis to improve nearly every part of their operations, from value-added services to machinery maintenance and lean inventory controls. They are slicing and dicing reliable, hard numbers on market and sales developments, on predicting staffing and capital spending requirements to put strategic and tactical planning on firmer ground than ever before. They are saving money, increasing operational efficiencies and growing margins.
In contrast, new consultant studies and the recently released MSCI survey of IT spending among members showed that from front office to factory floor operations, metals service centers are mostly still not spending significant money on modernizing their digital capabilities.
But MSCI members can approach Big Data in the same way they approach any critical strategic planning problem:
–Make the time, and assign the talent to evaluate their digital programs, their connectivity and gaps, and of course their capacity to collect and analyze truly useful information for running the business better.
–Understand that systems even a couple of years old very likely do not offer the kind of analytics that will be competitive into the future.
–Don’t do this alone. Look for an experienced collaborator, a business colleague, an adviser from the local college or university.
–The important thing is to get started.
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