Editor’s Note – Connecting Dots

By: JoDeen Urban, Editor In Chief, The Source

Associating ideas or discovering unique insights after sifting through pools of data has become significantly more complex in the Age of Big Data. When the puzzle “join the dots” was created, its premise was to use our visual memory to discern what the picture should look like as we expectantly drew a line from dot-to-dot. Until recently, “connecting the dots” to unearth business intelligence and innovate using customer experience data and other analytics to layer and frame ideas was an appropriate metaphor – although it relied more upon deductive and abstract reasoning than using the “mind’s eye”. We could improve upon existing processes and develop product or service enhancements through new factual interpretations or twisting and stretching concepts into new shapes. Sometimes, the Big Idea was also born.

But, big data and SMAC technologies (Social Mobile Analytics and Cloud) have ushered in an entirely “new normal”. Seemingly ordinary minutiae of unfathomable quantity can now be hyper-digitally churned in mind-bending ways to yield disruptive power on a scale never before experienced. Industries are challenged with the prospect of either disrupting or being disrupted by this environment.

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In our world of sourcing, delivering multisourcing services and data analytics capabilities to support the needs of companies to remain competitive, pursue innovation and drive change means connecting all the dots – seen and unseen. Our mind’s eye and cognitive systems are forced to morph. In order to exploit digital breakthroughs we are adapting sophisticated neuroscience and anthropological architectures. It’s not child’s play anymore.

The digital disruption has forever altered the way we think, create, problem solve and conduct transactions. This month’s issue presents sourcing perspectives on this theme from different vantage points – innovation, global drug discovery, predictive data analytics and contractual partnerships. How successfully we blend facts and predictors will always be heavily influenced on how well we continue to underpin our new knowledge on core values. Integrity, trust, collaboration and accountability to one another are the four cornerstones that must remain inviolate. Existing best practice, compliance and accountability rules may have a shorter than expected lifespan. Governance practices and standards that can be continuously adapted against a landscape that is exceedingly fluid are critical.

Delivering multisourcing services and data analytics to support the needs of
companies means connecting all the dots – seen and unseen.

Scott Schlesinger, SVP and head of Business Information Management at Capgemini recently remarked to Outsourcing Center: “Jumping in to analyze large volumes of diverse data without first having a true business use case and some level of governance in place…is a recipe for disaster. You have to create a strong control framework so you know that the data you’re analyzing is good; that your models are sound, and that your processes adhere to privacy standards, which vary from country to country. Big Data analytics is such a hot topic that it’s easy to get caught up in technology.” Click here for the referenced article.

A different mindset is required for making outsourcing decisions in this atmosphere. The complexity of demands made upon all supply chain segments is on the rise. Pricing, capabilities and performance metrics are increasingly connected to the ability of suppliers and vendors to provide data science skills in support of their customers’ digital analytics transformation. Add to this Sustainable and Socially Responsible Sourcing which is embedding itself, rightly, into the terra firma of global business. Keeping all of this moving in an ethical and profitable direction requires evolving our competencies and imagination so that we can construct new pictures from dot-to-dot-to-vectors and beyond.

We welcome contributors to this publication. Please share your insight and opinions at contactGSC@gscouncil.org, or contact me directly at jodeen@gscouncil.org.

JoDeen Urban
Editor In Chief

JoDeen is an independent management consultant working with established companies as well as start-ups on strategy, organizational capability and business model innovation.


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