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RFID's role in achieving business intelligence

Joshua Greenbaum discusses the benefits of RFID and how it can help achieve business intelligence in this expert Q and A.

I hear so much about RFID, and I see the benefits for my organization, but I'm not sure how it will help achieve business intelligence (BI). What is your opinion on the general benefits of RFID and how it will help with BI?
RFID data can be a powerful addition to a warehouse management, inventory tracking, or other system that is used to track relatively valuable assets around a fixed geographical space. The assets must be relatively valuable, because the cost of the tags and associated transmission equipment is too high to justify for tagging most low-cost commodity items. And the geographical space must be fixed, because RFID tags have no independent broadcast ability, and therefore can only work within the range of a transmitter.

Having said that, being able to locate assets -- a newly-made car, a critical spare part, a valuable device -- and knowing how many you have in what location can provide valuable answers for key mission-critical BI questions. Knowing whether the inventory you need is truly on hand, or where on the lot is that car with the bad transmission, or if the supplies you need have arrived at the shop floor can be an important adjunct to any BI function.

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