How Natural Language Processing Can Improve Spend Analytics

Posted by Sushil Sharma on Wed, Aug 19, 2015

Have you ever wondered how Google or Hotmail finds and blocks a single spam email out of billions of emails? Or how companies analyze tweets for customer sentiment? Or how questionable content is identified on a Website? Natural language processing (NLP) does this in real time — and it can be used for a lot more than spam filtering.

When it comes to analyzing a company's spend, the old adage "what gets measured gets managed" is definitely true. However, measuring an enterprise's spend when you have free-text fields, or fields where employees can type in any response they want, can be an insurmountable task. Rarely do two people use the same words and phrases to describe the same thing. Even spelling varies. These variations make measuring how much is being spent on a given category or with a given vendor a very common challenge.

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Topics: Big Data, Supply Chain & Operations

How Telcos Are Using Signals to Drive Savings and Revenues

Posted by Ankur Desai on Thu, Sep 25, 2014

When to nudge a delinquent customer for a payment — that is the question. Or rather, that is one of many — many — questions that Signals are helping telecom companies (telcos) answer. Because when to call and ask for payment can actually help determine whether to call at all, and eliminating calls can lead to significant savings. So how do Signals do this? And more important, how can telcos, specifically, take advantage of these Signals to improve customer experience and maximize bottom-line impact?

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Topics: Analytics, Signals, Marketing, Supply Chain & Operations

Top 5 Myths About Supply Chain Management

Posted by Helen Atkinson on Fri, Mar 07, 2014

It’s no longer enough to simply manage suppliers. Without a strong handle on everything that’s happening in your company’s supply chain, you will miss big savings opportunities.

In a recovering economy, procurement managers need to know more about how their organization's total supply chain works than ever before. As business starts to fire on all cylinders again, it’s clear things have changed. Not only are we experiencing the truly global, challengingly mercurial commercial landscape everyone talked about before the bust, but the need to keep a close eye on exactly what’s going on day to day has shattered old supply chain and procurement best practices — even from just a few years ago. But now, new spend analytics solutions offer impressive capabilities that allow supply chain managers both deep and wide views of their spend. With these tools, it’s possible to shine a spotlight on problem areas that were previously hidden in siloed expense reports, forgotten contracts, and operations with little or no oversight.

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Topics: Big Data, Analytics, Supply Chain & Operations

Six Big Data Tips for Tackling T&E Spend

Posted by Sarah Anderson on Tue, Sep 10, 2013

It’s easy for money to slip through your fingers on business trips. Here are six ways to get it back. 

Anyone who’s ever entertained a client or taken a business trip knows how fast that expense report can add up. But administrators and category spend managers are left wondering, where did that money go exactly? And how do we go about cutting back? The answer, of course, is in the data. And (of course), it’s complicated. But complicated is what Big Data solutions do best.

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Topics: Big Data, Supply Chain & Operations

Advanced Analytics Help Companies Save Big on Small Package Shipping

Posted by Nathan MacCarter on Thu, May 30, 2013

Shipping costs can easily get away from managers, but help is on the way.

Have you ever shipped a package across town and accidentally paid for overnight air to get it there? Or negotiated a contract with a shipping company only to have the contract ignored or forgotten about a week later? Or paid to have something arrive by 10:00am only to find out that it didn’t arrive until 3:00pm?  

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Topics: Big Data, Analytics, Supply Chain & Operations

Five Big Data Tips for Staffing an IT Project

Posted by Paresh Chiney on Wed, Apr 10, 2013

After spending several painful months negotiating contracts with your vendor partners and haggling over every cent for IT resource rates, you finally managed to get the best rate card across multiple roles and geographies. So with a little help from some run-of-the-mill, rate-compliance monitoring system, the hundreds or thousands of projects with these contracted vendors will run on cruise control, right? Wrong. A few months down the line, you’ll notice you are paying more for every hour of work than you were prior to the rate negotiations, even though the rates were negotiated down by 5–10% across the board.

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Topics: Machine Learning, Supply Chain & Operations

Opera Solutions Acquires Procurement Analytics Tools and Services from BIQ and Lexington Analytics

Posted by Todd Higginson on Thu, Apr 19, 2012

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Apr. 19, 2012 — Opera Solutions, LLC (, a global leader in machine-learning science and advanced Big Data analytics, today disclosed the joint acquisition of BIQ, a specialist in OLAP analysis software and spend analysis, and Lexington Analytics, a leading distributor of BIQ and provider of analytic services to procurement professionals.

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Topics: Arnab Gupta, Press Releases, Supply Chain & Operations