The Benefits and Pitfalls of Managing Big Data

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Distributors increasingly have an enormous amount of information at their fingertips. While this Big Data represents a range of opportunities, it can also create headaches. Kicking off a new podcast series, Profit Levers, Jonathan Byrnes, founding partner of Profit Aisle and senior lecturer at MIT, outlines three areas where issues can arise.

When RFID became popular a few years ago (using a small tag to label and identify items), managers gained the capability to know the identification and location of every item in their company. Byrnes notes this concept is now resurfacing as the Internet of Things (IoT).  The biggest danger with RFID information applies now to utilizing Big Data, in that large-scale operations that simply automate routine activities — what Byrnes describes as “paving the cow paths” — can only further entrench existing practices, rather than promote meaningful change.

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