IBSS Research Seminar: sustainability risk monitoring in supply chains using big data analytics



Sustainability Risk Monitoring in Supply Chains using Big Data Analytics: Ranking Suppliers using Text Mining and Bayesian Networks with a Focus on Child Labor Risk


Professor Alfred Taudes

WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business), Department of Information Systems and Operations, Institute for Production Management, Vienna, Austria


We present a prototype of a software system for continuously monitoring child labor risk in supply chains. The core of the system is a Bayesian network that combines various sources of information on child labor risk to calculate a dynamic risk scoring for each supplier location.

On the basis of the thus derived scores the suppliers are ranked and audits are targeted to suppliers with higher risk. Three sources of evidence are used: general statistical information about the probability of child labor, information obtained from previous interactions with the supplier (code of conduct, previous audits) and cases of child labor related to the supplier’s location and industry reported in publically available sources like news and twitter feeds. These incident reports are extracted via text mining methods. To assess the quality of the ranking a test of the text mining against a gold standard and a comparison with judgements made by experts were conducted.


Alfred holds a doctoral degree in Business Administration from WU Vienna, a Masters Degree in Management Information Systems from Vienna University and a PhD (Habilitation) from WU Vienna in both fields. After assistant professorships at WU in the areas Operations Research and Applied Informatics he was visiting professor at Universities Augsburg, Münster, Essen and Tsukuba, Japan and joined WU in 1993. There he coordinated large scale research projects such as WWTF-project "Integrated Demand and Supply Chain Management" and the Special Research Area Adaptive Models in Economics and Management Science. His teaching includes an undergraduate course in Operations Strategy and an IT seminar on the master level.

Alfred has undertaken research in the interface of Operations and Supply Chain Management, Marketing Engineering and Knowledge Management. He has published more than 150 articles, among others in international top journals like Management Science, European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Production Economics, Marketing Science and MIS Quarterly. His research interests are on the impact of Big Data on Operations, knowledge creation in Start Ups and Decision Making under Partial Knowledge. (Integration of Market-based and Resource-based Strategy Concepts Industry 4.0 and Big Data Lean Start Up).