Where does the Big Data come from?

The Big Data is getting big, but where does it come from? And what does it mean for people? The recent WSJ article offers a nice interactive feature on the subject.

There are some obvious sources like social networks and point-of-sale data, but some are less so. For example, that multimedia/navigation/emergency help system in your car can be routinely tracking your driving habits, and, possibly, sharing the data with insurance companies. Another recent (and controversial) source of the location data is the license plate tracking systems, implemented both by police and private companies. Continue reading


Supply chain realities

Think the days of the Bullwhip effect are over? Not at all. Here is a telling example from Russian aircraft manufacturing. As UAC tries to ramp up production of the SSJ 100 passenger jet, its engine supplier is struggling:

“We are facing difficulties with the supply chain. We need to fight every day [against Airbus and Boeing] to get priority,” PowerJet CEO Jacques Desclaux said, speaking at the ERA General Assembly in Dublin.

Desclaux explains that when Airbus and Boeing order 500-1,000 components, PowerJet struggles to secure slots for 100-500 parts. “It really is a challenge. There are not a lot of certified suppliers, so the choice is quite limited. The only thing we can do is to anticipate and place orders which are larger than we need,” he said.

There are two aspects to this situation.  Continue reading