Getting the Most from Big Data Analytics
February 08, 2017
2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created each day, much from sources that didn’t exist ten years ago. The explosion of information from social platforms and the Internet of Things has created a data deluge. So, how can you use analytics to ride the wave instead of drowning in it? What can smart commodity market participants do to get the most value out of commodity analytics?
Gaining maximum value from big data requires companies to rethink how they approach analytics.
- You can’t just leave analytics to analysts and expect to get big results. How will they know what questions to ask? Analysts have visibility into one small part of a business. They don’t know the right questions to ask for every department in the organization. The only way to get big value from big data is to have individual teams throughout the organization using the data to answer their specific questions.
- You need to ask the right questions. Advanced analytics is a means to an end, and the end is some actionable information that provides value to your company. What are the questions you need to answer? Don’t look for broad market trends that you can’t turn into action, dig for specifics. Why did profits not meet expectations last month and what can I do to correct it? Why did production deviate from the plan this month and what changes do I need to make to get back on track? How will my counterparty react to price moves in regards to meeting contract obligations?
- Don’t just look for dramatic changes. The commodity business is huge, so even small changes can have a large impact on your business. If analysis of IoT sensor data indicates that equipment performance declines two weeks before regularly scheduled maintenance, you can shift maintenance early two weeks increasing production and avoiding longer disruptions if equipment breaks.
- Don’t discount unstructured data. All data is not the same, but even “soft” data from social media can provide valuable intelligence. Account for the source of data but use it, it may provide insight about how a product is being produced and used. If competitors are tweeting about ground-breaking innovation and hot new products, you need to evaluate what they are doing and how it impacts your business.
- Don’t keep data in siloes. It’s easy to think of departments in your organization as separate, but not looking at the whole picture can cause tremendous inefficiencies. Kellogg Company shared an example of the danger of information siloes. Procurement was using lower quality materials to cut packaging costs while logistics was working to reduce product damaged in transit because of lower quality materials. Their efforts were working against each other. The two teams needed to communicate and work together to find the right solution for the entire organization.
- Don’t assume analytics is just for technical companies. Agriculture companies use advanced analytics to gain significant efficiency gains – most notably in precision farming. Farmers can determine optimum water amounts and frequency by analyzing moisture levels from sensors, improving crop yields.
For a long time, analytics remained in the hands of analysts who created reports that many never bothered to read. That model no longer works because smart companies are using big data analytics to get the jump on their competition. Eka’s app-based Commodity Analytics Cloud makes it easy for commodity market participants to analyze data from throughout commodity value chains to gain an advantage over competitors. Commodity Analytics Cloud’s advanced algorithms and machine learning provide answers to questions across an organization – from finance to manufacturing, procurement to supply chain, site operations to executives, IT and business analysts.
Take the first step towards managing the data deluge and you will quickly realize the value and power of big data analytics.