There is a continuum in terms of presentation of data that allows for continuous sophistication in understanding and interpreting data. There are lots of ways to view data, but three that are particularly useful in supply-chain analytics are –Reporting, Scorecarding, and Benchmarking.
The simplest form of looking at data is what we have all seen dozens of times, we call it “Reporting”. Back in the day, reporting was numbers printed out on green bar paper, but today’s business intelligence reports are far more detailed and dynamic than in the past. For instance, a BI report of today displays all the data about transportation providers as usable information, in a scorecard format. Factors such as on-time delivery, freight cost per unit shipped, and transit time are assigned metrics and weighted averages to help users determine how well carriers are performing overall.
Operation managers and executives who want a quick, daily overview of what is happening in their transportation or supply chain network use dashboards to provide information in near real-time to help users understand what is happening within their network, and allows them to make proactive decisions to remedy problems as they occur. Where reporting is really like looking in the rearview mirror, dashboards are used to see what’s going on now, and makes it easier for users to identify trends and exceptions, and to intervene before something goes wrong.
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