According to recent research published by Supply Chain Digest, most companies have robust KPI systems. With descriptive reports, it’s easy to assess both people and systems to inform performance reviews and process audits. Unfortunately, no matter how sophisticated, backward-looking analytics no longer offer companies a competitive advantage. As the pace of commerce continues to accelerate to meet higher consumer expectations, companies that want to meet demand and stay ahead of the competition must deploy advanced analytics tools and platforms.

This imperative begs a question: What exactly are advanced analytics? Supply Chain Digest found that 45% of supply chain leaders surveyed have at most a basic understanding of advanced analytics and only 10% of companies have strong advanced analytics capabilities. However, since advanced analytics are still new, this data should be viewed not as a concern for supply chain professionals but as an opportunity. Indeed: 88.3% of respondents believe advanced analytics offers good or outstanding opportunities and 23.4% are in the process of deploying advanced analytics in the supply chain.

The benefits that can be expected from an investment in an advanced analytics tool like Voxware’s Intellestra™ are:

Collect and Use Data in Real Time: While backward-looking reporting will remain valuable, companies that give their team the ability to run analyses in real time can use data to help ensure that deliveries leave the facility on time and to make staffing and other adjustments in the event of inclement weather or traffic.

Let Users Design Analyses: When data can be quickly accessed and leveraged by end users, it’s effectiveness skyrockets. That’s why advanced analytics tools offer flexible, user-driven capabilities that allow users to autonomously run their own custom analyses.

Predict Outcomes: One of the biggest challenges for companies across all industries is being able to accurately plan and prepare for future demand. One way that advanced analytics can address this problem is by compiling data from sales forecasts and voice picking software to show likely outcomes based on hiring different staffing numbers.

Visualize Data: The Supply Chain Digest survey found that 34% of respondents are overwhelmed by the amount of data available in the supply chain. Fortunately, advanced analytics technology makes data easy to digest with straightforward graphs and charts.

In short, advanced analytics tools like Intellestra™ offer enormous opportunities to supply chains across industries. Those companies that join the 10% of organizations which have already adopted advanced analytics will be able to leverage data to drive better decision-making and to become more forward thinking. Those that don’t will be left looking behind.