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Unlocking supply chain potential
Analytics for emerging economies
With the advent of big data, faster computing, and intuitive analysis tools, the promise of analytics has generated a renewed focus on improving operations through data-driven decisions. For supply chain organizations in particular, it is a powerful ally in driving cost reduction strategies and service level improvements. Yet in emerging economies, insufficient data and inconclusive analyses are often the norm.
Enabling sustainability for the future
Despite the challenges, constituencies are finding ways to navigate the analytical limitations and constraints often encountered in the development sector. Supply chain analyses are becoming more substantive and targeted, leading to more actionable interventions and tangible results. The following are principles which have guided a number of developing countries in their analytic efforts:
- Join the small data revolution
Success does not always hinge on a large scale, long-term investment in a data warehouse or big data. For a low- and middle-income country, it may not even be feasible. Progress can be accelerated through incremental, short-term initiatives that are designed to enhance the value of much smaller data.
- Engage in visual storytelling
Countries are inundated with countless supply chain reports and assessments conducted by a wide range of constituencies—making it difficult to digest information, inform decisions, and affect change. Simplifying this complexity through data visualization helps filter out the noise and zero in on what matters most.
- Invest in the right requirements
Supply chain performance analyses abound in many countries, but they may not always provide the right evidence to conclusively support the required decisions. Metrics do matter, but defining critical success factors for which performance indicators are predicated on is arguably more important.
To unlock the value of analytics in such unconventional environments, the development sector may be required to re-think, re-tool, and re-evaluate traditional strategies around data and analysis. In doing so, it might not only inform decisions, but empower countries to achieve sustainable results.
Applying analytics to the challenges in developing countries is a significant step towards sustainability. By working within local constraints to adapt practices, evidential insights can be drawn and effective decisions can be made. And given the magnitude and relevance of supply chain operations in the development sector, the resulting impact can be far-reaching.