Information is everywhere. We live in an unprecedented time where information is readily available, inexpensive (quite often free) and easy to access. From 24/7 news updates to the precise geo-location of our food delivery driver, information is usually just one click away, or for some people, just one voice command to their preferred voice assistant away. We are privileged to be surrounded by such a wealth of data.
To put it into perspective, as of 2020, the total amount of data created, captured, copied, and consumed in the world was estimated to be around 44 trillion gigabytes! (1) As of August 2021, Wikipedia holds almost 54 million pages of information. While on a more familiar note, at EV Cargo Technology we process an impressive 1.5 million unique orders each year.
Unfortunately for us humans, there is only so much information that our brains can process and retain. A well-known psychological study from the 1950s claimed that our brain can hold up to a maximum of seven items of information at one time, before we start to forget things. Think about remembering a phone number on the spot or items on a grocery list. However, more recent studies have shown that this number is actually much lower and the brain copes better with storing smaller chunks of four pieces of information or fewer (2). In any case, what is clear is that in this age of fast and abundant data, there is a lot more information in front of us than our brains can process and efficiently store. This often leads to information overload and the feeling of being overwhelmed.
When it comes to supply chain technology, the industry faces a similar issue. There is already an enormous amount of data held across systems with valuable information. This data is usually accessible via a number of different methods, such as reporting, operational tools, dashboards and visibility platforms. The questions that end users and customers often ask themselves are: what do we do with all this information and how do we use the data? There are many challenges that need solving and all the data is there to support finding effective solutions. But what information is important and what isn’t within the vast amount of data available? Being able to extract meaning and smart insights from data is a key industry challenge.
At EV Cargo Technology, we are in a unique global position. We provide the technology and tools to manage the supply chains of the world’s leading brands. In addition, we have the industry knowledge and expertise to provide context to our solutions and help our clients find the answers that best fit their needs. Sometimes, the solution can right in front of someone, hidden in the data, but due to information overload they can’t see it. By combining our software and industry expertise, we can offer unique insights and leverage best practice to support retailers in tackling their supply chain challenges and prepare for uncertainty ahead. Data can be overwhelming, but with the right guidance and support, we can navigate its complexity and focus our attention on what information matters to us most.
(1) World Economic Forum; https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2019/04/how-much-data-is-generated-each-day-cf4bddf29f/
(2) Cowan, N. (2010). The Magical Mystery Four: How is Working Memory Capacity Limited, and Why? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864034/