Big Data: Is It Important?

Written by Theodore Higgins

big-data-is-it-importantBig data is popping up all over the place. What is big data? It is defined as a large volume of data that is both structured and unstructured. Now, what do we do with it?

 First, we collect it; then we look at it. We sort it into buckets and then dump the buckets out and start over. That is the process of structuring it, and then restructuring it. The data is meant to be over analyzed and looked at in a multitude of ways to find trends. Let’s take UPS as an example. UPS did a big data analysis a few years ago, and they learned they could optimize routes by only making right-hand turns. Simple, yet effective!

Data Mining at Your Fingertips

Charts, graphs, visualizations, data. Data mining is important. We’ve done the mining for you; now it’s your turn to do something with it. Having the ability to view your data in multiple ways will give you the upper hand in finding trends and maybe some outliers that need to be addressed. ReTrans Freight recently revealed a new freight dashboard that will show you all of your shipments in multiple ways. The dashboard is meant for both the executive and the traffic manager. The executive will be able to see how much money they are spending, and the traffic manager can quickly glance at carrier statistics that are important to them for optimal routing and efficiency. For example, when you are shipping LTL, cost per pound is a vital statistic. If your cost per pound suddenly rises, there could be reasons for concern, and it’s time to dig into the data. A couple of reasons why the cost per pound could suddenly go up could include a new lane you started shipping to or a specific customer ordering multiple times a week which, in turn, is requiring you to ship out smaller orders multiple times a week. ReTrans Freight has performed numerous analyses of these types of occurrences and found that a few of our customers were shipping to the same customer over and over in the same week. Consolidation of these shipments would allow for sufficient savings.

For the “raw data” type of people, we show the shipments by the carrier, region and state, allowing you to sort and filter to your choosing. In this data, you can search, filter, group and manipulate the data in many ways. Interested in seeing data specifically to Florida? Select the State tab, select Destination and scroll down to find Florida. If the data is needed to be exported so it can be shared with decision makers, click on Export to Excel and the data is compiled into an excel sheet for review. This view is best for getting specific numbers for each statistic you want to see.

For the “visual data” type of people, we have charts and graphs that make trends easier to see. Data anomalies cannot hide in this representation of the data. ReTrans Freight allows the exporting of these graphs so that users can put together presentations at their discretion. All charts and graphs export precisely how you see them on the screen into excel. This view is best for showing anomalies, discrepancies and other things that may be concerning.

What’s Important to You?

Have an idea for more statistics we should include on the site? Reach out to me directly at and let’s collaborate on what’s important to you!