Unfortunately, just because everybody is talking about drones and self driving trucks, it doesn’t mean they are going to happen soon. But big data is happening now! And every company should be preparing right now. No need to go out and hire 5 PhD’s as Johnson & Johnson did to start their effort – rather clean up your data. Simple things like item master data should be accurate (that pays dividends now). Scan data, while notoriously “dirty”, doesn’t have to be.
The good news is that the learning algorithms and neural network systems that analyze big data are becoming more and more friendly. It won’t be long before they can create their own models obviating those PhD’s and driving costs down.