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MBA Careers: Supply Chain Managers Must Crunch Big Data With Analytics

Demand is growing for talent who can use advanced analytics

Sun Oct 4 2015

BusinessBecause
As global supply chains deploy technologies to meet their increasingly complex needs, demand is growing for supply chain managers who can crunch big data.

Managers must learn to use advanced analytics to restructure and adjust their supply chains, based on real-time data and consumer demand.

“There is a need for more analytical skills,” says Canan Kocabasoglu-Hillmer, director of the Master’s in Global Supply Chain Management at Cass Business School. “Business managers really need to be retrained to able to process incredibly large data sets.”

A recent report from the consultancy Accenture found that 41% of executives said analytics enabled faster and more effective reaction to supply chain issues. Nearly 50% said big data improved customer service and demand fulfilment.

“Using big data and advanced analytical tools enables supply chain managers to better supply chain capabilities,” says Nick Vyas, director of the Center for Global Supply Chain Management at USC Marshall School of Business, such as demand planning, forecasting, and network optimization.

Companies have a growing mountain of data on everything from customer shopping trends to weather and geography.

Research from Boston Consulting Group found that companies can optimize their delivery networks using geoanalytics — location-based data combined with advanced analytical tools.

The trend for supply chains to utilize their data is part of a wider embracement of innovation, with managers assessing technologies such as 3D printing, cloud computing and advanced robotics.

“Disruptive technologies have reshaped global supply chains to some degree,” says Thomas Roemer, senior lecturer in operations management at MIT Sloan School of Management.

The challenge is to glean insights from the deluge of data. Yet companies cannot find the talent needed to implement innovative technologies in their supply chains, says a report this year from MHI, the trade association for the logistics industry.

“You need people who understand business and computational statistics,” says Mark Johnson, associate professor of operations management at Warwick Business School. “[But] there are very few of those people around.”

This is already changing the types of training on offer for supply chain managers, believes Mike Bernon, senior lecturer in supply chain management at Cranfield School of Management, whose staff include quantitative modelling experts.

“There is a definite shortage of people that have that skill and I don’t believe we fully understand how to manipulate data [yet],” he says.

Arnold Maltz, associate professor in the supply chain department at W. P. Carey School of Business, agrees that it’s “early days” for big data.

But he adds that it could lead to “potentially much better forecasting, much earlier problem detection, and even enhanced transportation reliability, with on-board maintenance connectivity and monitoring”.  

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School

Student

Verified

31/10/2023

On Campus

Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.

Lydia

Verified

23/02/2023

On Campus

Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.

Nathaniel

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24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London

Muhammad

Verified

24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.

Dorah

Verified

23/01/2023

On Campus

professors

The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather

Nora

Verified

17/12/2022

On Campus

The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.

Antonia

Verified

21/11/2022

On Campus

Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.

Muhammad

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15/11/2022

On Campus

Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.

Navya

Verified

11/11/2022

On Campus

Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society

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