Oracle ORCL +0.3% had their Value Chain Summit 2014 last week in San Jose, California. One of the keynotes was given by Mark Hurd, the President of Oracle. Mark had some interesting sound bites on Big Data. IT spend is only projected to grow by 1-2 percent a year, while data is growing by 40 percent annually. 10 percent of the IT budget is now taken up by storage. While it is true that servers are much less expensive than they used to be, that data growth will still require the IT department budget to grow by at least 4 percent a year to keep up.
Big Data is one of the buzz words of recent years. I would argue that supply chain applications have long been Big Data applications. Anytime you are talking about using large servers to run plans that still take several hours to complete, then we are talking Big Data. It is true, however, that supply chain applications are now even Bigger. We have moved from forecasting applications that created weekly demand plans centered on a region covered by a distribution center, to daily promotional forecasting at the retail store level. Doing this requires analyzing much, much larger amounts of data. There are also use cases for using much more data in supply planning and supply chain execution as well.