Contemporary commerce demands that marketing analysis and strategic sourcing occur simultaneously.
Why is such cohesion necessary? Essentially, it enables businesses to correlate the amount of goods they expect to sell with the amount of materials they'll need to procure to manufacture those products.
When executed properly, this strategy can effectively eliminate any surplus stock from accumulating, as well as prevent deficiencies from occurring. But what's at the heart of this operation? What makes it tick?
The elephant in the room
Forbes contributor and logistics expert Steve Banker noted how unstructured data - video, images, social media activity, call center transaction logs and a wealth of other types of information - can provide marketers and procurement process managers alike with the intelligence needed to prioritize shipments and sales. An environment capable of storing this type of data is Hadoop.
Hadoop - which was originally developed at Yahoo in 2005 - is an open source project, meaning the code used to create the platform is divulged to the public and free for anyone to download. A number of corporations, notably HP, Intel and IBM have invested in Hortonworks - a company that fabricates, distributes and supports Hadoop - in order to integrate their own products with big data storage technology.
Banker noted that unless a business plans on using the commercial adoption model offered by companies such as Cloudera, it requires administration from IT professionals possessing incredibly high skill levels.
If an enterprise is serious about integrating Hadoop into its infrastructure, it may be necessary to consult a vendor resource management firm to help it acquire the right talent. In addition, it should be acknowledged that Hadoop isn't an analysis program - it's merely an effective repository for unstructured information.
Why bother implementing Hadoop?
For one thing, it's a free architecture capable of storing data that conventional relational databases are not equipped to hold. Secondly, it enables businesses to scrutinize a wealth of information that is incapable of being dissected through conventional means.
The fact of the matter is, the majority of the data in existence comes in unstructured form. European Business Review maintained organizations aren't going to receive the intelligence they need to expand or adjust operations by using Excel or some other rudimentary analysis template.
For example, a spreadsheet filled to the brim with numbers cannot effectively portray the risk of manufacturing a new product and delivering it to the market. Will consumers respond well to this new, brand-specific commodity, or will it fail? That's the question visualization tools can answer.