Emerging procurement technology: data analytics and cognitive analytics

Robert Handfield, Seongkyoon Jeong, Thomas Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the emerging landscape of procurement analytics. This paper focuses on the following questions: what are the current and future state of procurement analytics?; what changes in the procurement process will be required to enable integration of analytical solutions?; and what future areas of research arise when considering the future state of procurement analytics? Design/methodology/approach: This paper employs a qualitative approach that relies on three sources of information: executive interviews, a review of current and emerging technology platforms and a small survey of subject matter experts in the field. Findings: The procurement analytics landscape developed in this research suggests that the authors will continue to see major shifts in the sourcing and supply chain technology environment in the next five years. However, there currently exists a low usage of advanced procurement analytics, and data integrity and quality issues are preventing significant advances in analytics. This study identifies the need for organizations to establish a coherent approach to collection and storage of trusted organizational data that build on internal sources of spend analysis and contract databases. In addition, current ad hoc approaches to capturing unstructured data must be replaced by a systematic data governance strategy. An important element for organizations in this evolution is managing change and the need to nourish an analytic culture. Originality/value: While the majority of forward-looking research and reports merely project broad technological impact of cognitive analytics and big data, much of it does not provide specific insights into functional impacts such as the impact on procurement. The analysis of this study provides us with a clear view of the potential for business analytics and cognitive analytics to be employed in procurement processes, and contributes to development of related research topics for future study. In addition, this study suggests detailed implementation strategies of emerging procurement technologies, contributing to the existing body of the literature and industry reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-1002
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 28 2019


  • Big data
  • Cognitive analytics
  • Data analytics
  • Procurement technology
  • Technology roadmap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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