What Are the Characteristics of the Best Shipping Analytics Tools on the Market?

Analyzing data and using automated intelligence to promote agile, data-driven decision-making are among the easiest ways to add logistics value. However, not all shipping analytics tools are created equally. As technology advances, companies must consider multiple potential features, platforms, and companies when choosing and applying shipping analytics capabilities across modes, multi-site locations, and more. Now consider this; according to Camcode: "As data analytics becomes critical in supply chain operations and management, supply chain analytics software solutions and tools have become must-have technologies. Many supply analytics tools feature improved forecasting and sales and operations planning to give supply chain managers the business intelligence they need to streamline operations, lower costs, and improve customer service." Let's dig into the leading characteristics of the shipping analytics tools on the market for shipping managers today.

Data Normalization

Data normalization, also known as data standardization, takes the inconsistencies in data format out of the equation. Data normalization is a type of process wherein data within a database is reorganized so users can properly utilize that database for further queries and analysis. In shipping, data normalization is an undertaking of complex processes, automated by technology, to standardize names, addresses, charges, etc., to make decision-making and analysis more manageable for users.

Analytics are limited by a system's ability to identify correlations, normalized data levels the playing field between datasets. As a result, supply chain leaders can understand and apply analytics insights based on a standard series that will continuously add value.

Creation of Performance Metrics

The right set of shipping analytics tools give rise to significant performance metrics. The general push toward efficiency means enterprises need a way to see past the chaos and make performance improvements outside your company too. Through shipping and logistics analytics, business leaders realize faster time to ROI by tracking key performance indicators, or KPIs that lead to the identification of problems and opportunities for improvement that reduce costs and improve service levels.

Anomaly Detection

Another aspect of shipping analytics is anomaly detection. Compared to exception management, the right shipping analytics tools should detect anomalies within data and bring them to a person's attention. That's the same principle behind management by exception. By identifying anomalies faster, such as an error in address or names, problems can be corrected even quicker. Additionally, automated protocols to fix common issues, such as misspelled names or addresses, are also part of the right resources lineup.

Automated Big Data Aggregation and Reporting

The value of big data shipping analytics tools includes automated big data aggregation and reporting. Remember that collection of shipping data simply means bringing analytics data together from across the full end-to-end supply chain to derive the most value. Using business intelligence dashboards with drill-down functionality further adds to the supply chain analytics-value. That, in turn, creates opportunities for improvement and allows managers to view data in overarching and granular levels. Having both views is critical to success.

Functionality Across All Modes, Including Parcel

Lastly, shipping analytics must add value across all modes, particularly parcel. Without a comprehensive view of all shipping modes, analytics in shipping value begins to decline. That's especially true when considering that many shipments in the age of e-commerce will inevitably lead back to parcel for final delivery. It's a continuously evolving cycle that adds to the volume and value of big data analytics. Therefore, capturing data of spend across all modes gives rise to improvement opportunities within multimodal shipping, intermodal transportation, and back-office efficiency too.

Work With an Expert in Analytics With the Best Shipping Analytics Tools

Millions of factors in shipping affect enterprise profitability. Analyzing data and responding to market trends are top priorities for enterprise shippers. Proactive management is essential and why automation and analytics tools are becoming so popular. To get the best results possible, turn to the experts at Intelligent Audit. Visit Intelligent Audit online today to get started.

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