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The Evolution of Data in Media Supply Chains

Ever since the transition to file-based workflows, the value and importance of data has continued to grow. But right now, it’s perhaps more important than ever. More on this later.

Rewind 20 years to the transition from tape to file: the initial goal was to accelerate the production of content by introducing non-linear tools and enabling concurrent work on media files. With this transition came the introduction of an array of software tools to help edit, transform, analyze and evaluate content. Thus began the digital media supply chain. Each individual tool was capable of producing and extracting data about its portion of the content preparation process, but these tools were also deployed on fixed, on-premise infrastructure, which meant that operators were locked-in to certain ways of doing things, unable to scale as needs changed. The rudimentary data being generated by these systems (logs, job history etc.) was typically used for diagnostics or troubleshooting, and not for much else. It was not aggregated in any meaningful way. All that data being generated, and yet, because it was contained in different, disconnected systems, it could be hard to identify root causes when something did go wrong.

Fast forward to today’s media supply chains, and many of those initial barriers with file-based workflows have been resolved. Public cloud infrastructure, and purpose-built cloud-native supply chain platforms like Rally pull together the disparate tools used across your supply chain, along with the elastic infrastructure required to run them. By pulling together the various tools and infrastructure for orchestrating workloads, we’ve also now gained the ability to create a common repository (i.e., data lake) for all of the data generated across these tools. While the transition to modern media supply chains is a necessary response to today’s dynamic business environment – increasing scalability, operational efficiency, and business agility – it also has created a tremendous opportunity to aggregate data and metrics to paint a picture of your supply chain performance.

SDVI Rally Insight dashboard with charts and graphs of supply chain data.

When you can know everything about your supply chain, you hold the key to optimizing it. How long a job was queued, how long it took to process, success and failure rates across suppliers and tools, cost per job. Or filtering and allocating cost and time to specific shows, seasons or projects. What’s your ability to deliver with short deadlines? How much will that project cost? The sheer volume of data available now can be overwhelming unless you can consolidate it in such a way that you are able to understand it, gaining insight to identify inefficiencies and further optimize.

The Rationale Behind Rally Insight

This challenge – making supply chain data useful and relevant to operators and managers – is what led us to develop Rally Insight. We developed a platform that collects data from every step of the supply chain, and from which we had the ability to capture custom metadata specific to media workloads such as show, episode, season, production company, etc. Rally Insight aggregates the supply chain data, technical metadata, and customer metadata, correlates it with any custom metadata, and then takes the next step: delivering it in the form of rich data visualizations readily available and relevant to operators, providing a level of intelligence never available before.

I mentioned at the beginning that the value of data is now more important than ever. That is because this industry is changing and evolving faster than ever. To stay on top, it is critical that businesses be able to make smart, data-driven decisions. The faster you can adapt and optimize your supply chains, the faster you can pursue new opportunities, improve your profitability, and free up resources for new projects. In short, having relevant insights at your fingertips empowers you to build real competitive advantage. Rally Insight helps you get there.

For a deeper dive into Rally Insight, here’s an excerpt from a recent webinar.

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