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The devil is in the data...

By Steve Simmerman | 11/16/2009 | 2:15 PM
Technology seems to get more than its fair share of headlines when you are considering new systems.  SaaS, SOA, cloud computing and workflow are all exciting things to talk about, but when it comes to successfully implementing any new technology the devil is in the data.  After recently participating in nearly a week's worth of meetings for a new WMS project I was really struck by the amount of time that the project team spent on organizing, collecting and reviewing data. Yes, data.  Not technology, not slick hardware devices, but data.  Sound boring, it is.  Sound tedious, it is.  Critical to a project like a new WMS, it is.  All too often we get hung up in the technology side of things and build tremendously detailed project plans, but my recent experience was like walking out of a building in downtown Chicago in the winter and getting hit with a really cold blast of air.  Project plans seem to focus on technology, getting the network, the servers, the database all primed and ready to go, but rarely do project teams spend enough time on carefully planning the collection, review and cleansing of data.  It was refreshing to see this project team spending the amount of time they did on careful data collection and analysis.  The downstream benefits in terms of system testing, training and ultimately system performance will all benefit from this investment in good, clean data.  I'm sure you have experienced some project in your professional career that has been severely impacted by bad data.  I'd love to hear about some of your encounters with the devil in the data. Pay attention to the data for your next project, or the devil may do it for you.

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About Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman is a Senior Director with JDA. Simmerman has more than 25 years of experience in the supply chain industry including software, consulting and material handling. He has focused his efforts on working with clients to achieve high performance supply chain results through partnerships and creative solutions. He is a member of CSCMP, WERC, and MHIA and is a regular contributor to several industry publications and events. Simmerman holds his undergraduate and MBA degrees from The University of Notre Dame.


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