Data visualization techniques to tighten up your supply chain

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May 17, 2018

Data visualization techniques to tighten up your supply chain


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May 17, 2018

An array of new technologies like cheap mobile devices, cloud storage, and improved software are underpinning a projected 20% annual growth of telematics. Forward-thinking logistics companies are amassing huge datasets with these technologies to improve their operations.

But collecting data is the easy part. Companies like Uber, Instacart, and DB Schenker, are using Mapbox’s data visualization tools to map thousands of assets globally, identify cost and performance trends along routes, and benchmark against historic ETAs.

Mapping your business geography

Flow and network charts can plot the complex relationships between dozens of points along a route or visualize connections between millions (or billions) of data points within a larger service area. One of those enormous service networks is the Russian postal system. In this network graph by Nikolai Lebedev, we see how mail flows between 42,000 post offices across 87 regional hubs in Russia:

Fast-rendering map visualizations like this make billions of data points accessible — zoom in, layer-by-layer, all the way down to a single post office to spot patterns in the data at the national, regional, and local scale. Supply chain analysts can build node and flow maps of their own, as well as a host of other visualizations, to spot unexpectedly large flows between two nodes, identify opportunities for cost savings, and analyze new markets.

Visualizing your temporal geography

Outside forces like traffic, weather, and elevation can all affect the time it takes for people or shipments to get from point A to point B. By mapping time onto your service area — by building a custom isochrone visualization — you can see how outside events have historically affected your assets as they’ve moved around the real world.

We used historical traffic data to build this isochrone illustrating drive, cycle, and pedestrian times across the Edinburgh metropolitan area. Note how faster drive times extend out into the suburbs along major highways. Isochrones can provide insight into which service levels are realistically achievable within new and existing service areas.

Try the demo >

Fast-rendering, interactive data visualizations close the gap between data collection and insight. Use our data visualization tools to quickly spot inefficiencies in your operations, build new processes, and pass that value to customers.

Want to map your supply chain? Contact our sales team.

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