Omni-Channel-laptop with chart printout

The old problems of siloed data are being overcome using ‘data lakes’ – huge, single expanses of compiled business data – which 4PLs and others in the logistics sector are using to revolutionise industries, according to Monte Zweben.

Writing for infrastructure development news site The New Stack, the co-founder and CEO of software company Splice Machine says that operational data lakes “finally deliver” on the promises made about Big Data in the past.

He adds: “Operational data lakes are revolutionising industries. Retailers, manufacturers, and 3PL/4PL logistics providers are extracting data from ERP systems, merchandising systems, warehousing systems, and transportation systems to provide real-time global supply chain data.

“They are enriching these data lakes with real-time exogenous carrier data and weather data to power new real-time supply chain planning applications and available-to-promise (ATP) systems. These systems are capable of both learning from experience and planning in real time.”

His own company develops software such as Hadoop, which allows Big Data to be stored across computer clusters running commodity hardware, producing the kinds of data lakes needed to bring many sources together into a single resource, and fuel detailed business analysis such as that performed by 4PLs.

4PL apps put data in your hands

The logical endpoint of better analysis of data lakes is to make that information accessible in real time, and that is what apps like 3T’s EVENTTrack do directly on smartphone handsets – putting the data you need literally in the palm of your hand.

With EVENTTrack, you get features like instant proof of delivery with electronic signature, so there is no need to manually update delivery records when the vehicle comes back to base.

This is just one example in a much broader Transport Management System capable of detailed analysis to cut costs and reduce waste throughout the transport operation.

As Mr Zweben notes in his article, enormous data lakes are only of use when you use scalable applications to derive valuable business intelligence from them.

With 3T Europe’s apps to interpret your business data, along with access to the integrated carrier network of 3T Symphony, you can make sure you are getting the most out of the information you collect across all of your logistics activities.

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