EDI is a significant source of big data. Of course that’s no shock to anyone dealing with data storage or a VAN bill, but when you consider the volume of transactions and the number or companies involved, it would seem that there is a wealth of data in those transactions. The data now covers (depending on the trading partners) every aspect of the order process, from initial P.O. to final payment, with plenty of status updates along the way. So, what can be learned from all the data? It turns out that when looked at as an aggregate and put through the right analytical processes, there’s plenty to be learned – and predicted.
EDI software/service providers/VANs that act as collecting points for EDI data are in a great position to help leverage this data because all the transactions they transfer between trading partners pass through their servers. At some point these transactions are stored on their servers, and some of the providers maintain those transactions for historical purposes. The newest trend that these providers are offering is to leverage those transactions by applying business intelligence techniques to them. What emerges from these advanced calculations takes on many forms, but in general they paint a picture of what has happened, and what is likely to happen in the future.