The Prophet‘s 2024 Procurement Prediction Number 7

Data, Data, Data A

The Prophet has said that data will be your best friend in procurement and supply chain in 2024 if you give it chance.

And then asked Is 2024 the year you final opt to invest in [data] at the level you should?

Because it should be. As The Prophet also said, if for nothing else, do it to avoid being made the business function where fingers point when things go wrong, which they most definitely will if you don’t take every step you can make sure they don’t (and they still will, but you can be prepared for it and ensure that the disruption that happens is as minimized as possible). However, as I noted in a comment on the original article:

It’s not just better data analysis systems, it’s better data … chances are, if you haven’t been applying proper data governance, and let’s face it, there’s a 99%+ chance you haven’t, you need cleaner, richer, better organized data.

Also remember that’s not as easy as just buying some AI-based auto classifier / enrichment tool that will enrich your brake shoe database with the latest Girotti Oxfords and Montcler runners or take your incorrect supplier abbreviation and classify a denied party as perfectly safe when they are known to source from organizations that use slave labour and supply to militant groups and terrorists. (Don’t think it won’t happen if you fully trust an AI-based auto-classifer/recommender engine. It will. It has!)

Trusted data sources, such as those you get from data enrichers like Tealbook or validators like Apex Analytix will go a long way, but you will still have to manually review and fix those that can’t be auto-matched with very high accuracy (high accuracy is good enough for spend analysis, it’s not good enough for regulatory compliance or risk prevention).

And remember, have fun fishing the data lake you’ve neglected since you literally installed your first database. You never know what you’ll catch. While you’ll hook a lot of old rubber boots on your lines, you may also haul up a solid gold bar! Remember, you never dredged the lake, and there will be some priceless relics mixed in with the rancid pile of garbage.

Moreover, without great data, and the insight that comes from great data, the downside risk of the visibility, insight, predictive and actionable capability you lack today is immense and likely incalculable.

Once you have the data, you can easily install the right compliance, risk, and visibility platforms and achieve the intended results. (But without the right data, those solutions will be worse than expensive shelf-ware because if they are used, they will give the wrong results and insights that will lead to worse decisions than if they weren’t installed at all!)