Prior to investing resources into "big data" systems, software, and people, firms must understand that data aggregation alone is insufficient. Without a well-thought-out strategy, big data projects can result in confusion between teams, or worse, lead to sunk costs. This article uses three examples to illustrate data-driven improvement opportunities in transportation, warehousing, and network design. The ultimate deliverable of data-oriented efforts should be greater transparency in decision-making.

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