Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 45 seconds

big-dataThe very nature of EDI and other forms of trading data is that it is to be shared. But as the volume of transactions grows, the details of individual transactions becomes less available. As trading transactions become part of what we now know as 'big data' the old tools to deal with these details simply are not sufficient to deliver meaningful information.

Granted, the individual transactions still serve their intended purposes as they are transferred, processed, and assimilated into each trading partner's business processes. But as companies attempt to better understand both their own transactions and the activities of their trading partners, a wider view is necessary; one that looks at larger sets of data and derives trends, discovers patterns, announces problems, and generally keeps those who need to know informed.

Some interesting things begin to happen in large scale aggregations of data like what is captured and stored by VANs and service providers that don't simply act as post offices, passing data from one place to another, but store and warehouse the transactions for hundreds or even thousands of trading partners. These companies have access to multiple trading partners, many of whom are competitors of each other. This aggregated data can tell stories about what products are performing at what level, and in relation to what other brands, which retailers, and what local markets. 

With this much information available, the use and distribution of the details becomes more than just interesting. It raises serious ethical and security questions that should be asked of the service provider. A study by Michael McFarland at Santa Clara University, done in 2012 aims at using transaction data for profiling of individuals - something that has been in the news recently. But the same issues and capabilities apply to trading data and its use. I'm a believer that trading data should be consolidated and analyzed, and that results should be provided to those who can benefit from its use. As you look for data analytics providers, be certain to review their terms of service to determine what uses these companies make of your transactional data.

Last modified on Friday, 28 February 2014
Read 1511 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

Find his portfolio here and his personal bio here

Visit other PMG Sites:

PMG360 is committed to protecting the privacy of the personal data we collect from our subscribers/agents/customers/exhibitors and sponsors. On May 25th, the European's GDPR policy will be enforced. Nothing is changing about your current settings or how your information is processed, however, we have made a few changes. We have updated our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy to make it easier for you to understand what information we collect, how and why we collect it.
Ok Decline