Do You Do Data?
Data is the new oil. For the past few years that has been the soundbite touted by a new army of data scientists and business leaders that promise that data will lead us into a new realm of life. Is it true? Let’s investigate.
Firstly let’s ask some questions,
Do we have more data than ever before?
Do we have the technology to make sense of it?
The answer to both questions is a most resounding yes. There is one question we need to ask which is “Are we in a position to exploit it?”
The answer to this question is more debatable. As a Data Scientist would say. It depends. It depends on which country we are assessing. China and America are embracing data and using it to come up with brand new products and business opportunities. India is investing heavily in education in Data whilst Europe is trying to catch up. It also depends on human talent. Have we really got enough skilled people to exploit all these new data points we are collecting? Thirdly and most importantly – Do we actually have an infrastructure where data can be exploited? Changing organisational culture is a behemoth of a task. Data is bound by regulatory, security and internal politics and this means agile companies find ways of moving the needle much quicker than most market leaders.
Let’s explore these a little deeper.
Regulatory - This month the European Union is introducing the most widespread changes to the protection of an individual’s personal information. So why are they doing this? Data is not just about new products and business opportunities. Whilst the world of data can be used to create the next Uber it can also be used unethically as well. Data can be used to discriminate, change the structure of a society or even turn an election. This is nothing new, for many years data has been used to influence individuals through various forms of media. Now we have the technology to use this influence at a global level to target us at a personal level. GDPR will help alleviate some of these biases. The implications of these new regulations will cause some businesses to change business models and lead to more red tape jobs but also will help individual citizens control their personal data. The big question is will it hold Europe back in terms of the global economy.
Security – Every week we hear of a new security breach. That probably means there are breaches every day that we don’t hear of. These are big companies who are being hacked, fleeced and shamed. Whether its espionage from other countries or a CEO leaving his laptop in a taxi. Chasyr’s security needs to be of the highest priority. The more data we collect the more useful it is for third parties. As customers, suppliers or business partners we share data freely. Chasyr and all businesses have a responsibility to be careful in handling data.
Politics - If organisations are going to be “Data Driven” as many of them claim to be then the infrastructure needs to be there to support them. The biggest barrier to most company’s growth. Is simply its culture. We touched upon the lack of Human talent earlier. I don’t believe the lack of talent Is the issue. The biggest issue is bringing the talent out of the individual. Traditionally school and University mould employees to be yes men (or women) and therefore these people that have an abundance of education, skills and training do not have the strength of voice to challenge the status quo. Chasyr aims to be a truly Data-driven organisation, people trust the data and then communicate what the data is telling them. No longer should the highest paid persons opinion make decisions on gut instinct. I’m sure many more C-Suite executives would appreciate being told what to do for once.
To Summarise. Data is the new oil. But at present, its unrefined, misinterpreted and little understood. The points above just highlight how important data is and how it overlaps with every area of the business. We can’t silo Data into a back office. Like oil it needs to flow without obstruction, be secure and as professionals, we must ensure data is used ethically. As Google says, “Do no harm”.
IAN PERRY - Chasyr Information Officer
Ian is an experienced data professional responsible for building data collection pipelines to monitor business trends and identify opportunities for future growth for Chasyr. Having worked in various UK companies Ian manages projects throughout the entire business from building complex models to utilizing current machine learning techniques to predict avenues of growth.