Supply chain analytics is the foundation for making sense of the enormous amounts of data generated by supply chains so that businesses can make solid, data-driven decisions. It has been around for more than a century, but it has evolved dramatically—particularly with all of the technological advances that have been transforming the supply chain industry. It uses a mix of mathematical models, including machine learning and predictive modeling, along with data infrastructure and applications. It's also the foundation for integrating artificial intelligence and other cognitive technologies into the supply chain process. There are four types of supply chain analytics:
• Predictive analytics helps organizations better understand the likely outcomes of different scenarios.
• Descriptive analytics harnesses data visualization to provide answers about what has happened or is currently happening.
• Cognitive analytics gives organizations the ability to answer complicated, complex questions in easy-to-understand ways.
• Prescriptive analytics gives organizations the tools for solving problems and collaborating better to get the most out of their business efforts.
Learning about supply chain analytics empowers you with the skills and tools that you need for demand planning and forecasting, relieving pain points throughout the supply chain, solving inventory challenges, creating logistics strategies, and identifying opportunities—all of which make you a key player in helping businesses succeed and remain competitive. The knowledge and skills that you gain while learning about supply chain analytics aren't limited to just one industry. They apply across the business landscape, including companies ranging from pharmaceuticals to big-box retailers to power companies to government agencies.
There are many careers and jobs that use supply chain analytics, including supply chain analysts, purchasing managers, and sourcing managers. Harvard Business Review estimates that the supply chain in the United States makes up 37% of all jobs in the country—and where there are supply chain jobs, there's a need for solid analytics. You can use your knowledge of supply chain analytics to switch to a new career or advance in your current one. It's a key building block for a variety of jobs, such as these:
• Operations manager: A hands-on position that involves the direction and coordination of all operations, including producing and distributing products. Reviewing and understanding data is key for figuring out where to cut costs, improve processes, or boost productivity.
• Logistics analyst: You'll be constantly analyzing supply chain processes to figure out where they can be optimized and improved while maintaining the databases that house all logistics information.
• Supply chain manager: Customer service and safety play a big role in your job in addition to limiting costs and keeping a watchful eye on quotas and forecasts.
Online courses on Coursera provide a mix of classroom learning and hands-on knowledge through a combination of courses and projects to give you comprehensive skills in business intelligence, regression analysis, and managing the supply chain. And at the end, you have a chance to earn a certificate to share with your professional network or potential employers. Course offerings come from a diverse mix of leading global universities and industry leaders. And you're joining a community of more than 71 million learners, all with your shared desire for exploring new fields and expanding your skills and knowledge.