Business and Finance

Acquiring data for business analytics and operations research/purchasing data sets

  • 1.  Acquiring data for business analytics and operations research/purchasing data sets

    Posted 05-28-2019 12:24
    Hello all,
    I am trying to help a business faculty member with his request.  I don't really know where to start.  Below is a synthesis of his responses to back and forth emails.  I would appreciate advice and suggestions.  Feel free to post this question somewhere else, if you think another group could help.


    "I was wondering if you have ever heard of a source for business operations data that can be used as a basis for business analytics and operations research.

    We are looking for example or real data from a company that would

    include all or some of the following areas:

    • Marketing and sales – the CRM data of prospects through to final customer orders
    • Order fulfillment – the order processing through to payment received (order to cash)
    • Inventory – flow of goods in and out of inventory
    • Production – manufacturing output over time
    • Purchasing – movement of raw materials used in production from suppliers

     In essence this will be used to show the big picture operations of the entire company.

    The information could be aggregate as long as it is in the same industry. We think a medium size company ($50 – 250M in revenues) would be a workable size.

    I would acquire the dataset(s) as part of my research budget."


    Thanks,
    Cynthia Kutka



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    Cynthia Kutka
    Entrepreneurship Librarian
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    (404) 894-3135
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  • 2.  RE: Acquiring data for business analytics and operations research/purchasing data sets

    Posted 05-29-2019 18:00
    Hi Cynthia,

    That's a very specific dataset!  I can't think of any which match the parameters indicated, although our colleagues on BUSLIB-L might have a suggestion if you've not already posted it there.

    In my decade or so of experience, that kind of specific and possibly sensitive data is only provided to a professor via a company that they've established a relationship with (not via a public dataset).  We work a lot with oil and gas companies, as you might imagine in Houston, and that kind of data is the result of a multi-year relationship and perhaps the professor even having past employment at that company.  It's not the kind of thing that is easily for sale. I would be delighted to be mistaken, but that's my initial instinct about their query.

    Best,
    Lisa

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    Lisa Martin
    Business Librarian
    University of Houston
    lmmartin3@uh.edu
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  • 3.  RE: Acquiring data for business analytics and operations research/purchasing data sets

    Posted 05-29-2019 20:59
    Hi Lisa
    Thanks for your response. And I agree with you, those were my thoughts as well.  I explained to him that it was unlikely that such data could be acquired.  Nonetheless, I couldn't discount the possibility that I am wrong :-) so it is always worth asking.  He doesn't need to know the actual name of the company and he said that combined data that disguises the identity of individual companies would work for his purposes, although I don't expect to find that either.

    I did also post the question on Buslib-L.  I haven't heard anything from that quarter, but that is too be expected given the impossible nature of the request.
    Regards
    Cynthia

    ------------------------------
    Cynthia Kutka
    Entrepreneurship Librarian
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    (404) 894-3135
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Acquiring data for business analytics and operations research/purchasing data sets

    Posted 05-30-2019 07:58

    Cynthia-

    Take a look at SNAP-Stanford Large Network Dataset Collection

    http://snap.stanford.edu/data/index.html

    this is probably the only place I can think of you will get what your professor is looking for...

    Regards

    Trip

     

    Trip Wyckoff

    Business & Entreprenuerial Outreach Librarian

    Florida State University

    116 Honors Way

    Tallahassee, FL

    850.645.1475

    twyckoff@fsu.edu

     






  • 5.  RE: Acquiring data for business analytics and operations research/purchasing data sets

    Posted 05-31-2019 17:06
    Hi Cynthia,

    I don't think that you will find this operational data because what you are looking for is highly sensitive and confidential information.  Years ago, before it was acquired by Gartner, AMR Research might have collected such data and then shared it only with their clients.  I have been providing supply chain and operations research for many years and the only attainable operations metrics that I could think of are those collected by supply chain  oriented organizations.

    For example, APICS notes that its members have access to the following metrics: https://www.apics.org/apics-for-business/benchmarking/scormark-manufacturing.  Although it focuses more on warehouse operations, WERC also provides a series of benchmark figures. APQC and CAPS Research offer metrics but you have to be a sharing corporate member to access.

    If you find something more specific, please let us know.

    Thank you.

    Danguole Kviklys
    University of Michigan - Kresge Business Library

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    Danguole Kviklys
    University of Michigan
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  • 6.  RE: Acquiring data for business analytics and operations research/purchasing data sets

    Posted 05-31-2019 22:52
    Suggestions from another forum, for those interested

    The professor who requested the information via email is actually from another university.  I did explain to him that this is confidential, trade secret, and the like information that he is seeking, but I still offered to try.  He has since been able to acquire some data from a corporation that he has worked with in the past.  I also sent the suggestions (below) that I got from a different forum:

    "Is there an industry that the faculty member is focused on? Perhaps inquiring about membership in an industry association is an avenue? Especially in an industry with many public companies, an association might have data to share/sell to academic researchers. That's my first recommendation.

    Is this info. going to result in a publicly-accessible dataset for other researchers - or, for publication of a journal article? In other words, can he assure a co. that the data is for academic use/academic research? That too might impact an association's or company's decision to sell the data. It's unclear from the description of his query if the use is "academic".

    Does the faculty member have contacts with any companies in Colorado that he has partnered with -- for student course projects, for example? Companies that have already shared information with students about their business might be more willing to share/sell info. with faculty if that data too is also for academic use. That's my second recommendation.

    Mergent Horizon's module has a lot of supply chain info. It's not cheap; I don't know what the faculty member's budget it -- and I think the university would also have to have Mergent Online, as "Horizon" is asubscription module within it.

    Wharton's WRDS has databases of company info. that are unique. Yet, a university might only subscribe to a few of its many databases. You might want to suggest that if his institution has a subscription for faculty, that he peruse the database list of all WRDS database to see if one fits his research needs. Even so, it might not be feasible to add a database temporarily from the budget of another unit on campus."

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    Cynthia Kutka
    Entrepreneurship Librarian
    Georgia Institute of Technology
    (404) 894-3135
    ------------------------------