The challenging business climate we're likely to have to operate in for the foreseeable future creates challenges that only data science can address.
Data, like love, is all around us. The world generates 2.5 quintillion bytes of new data every day. That’s 1,000 petabytes! 90% percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years. And every two years, the volume of data across the world doubles in size.
Over the last year, data has become more important in everyday life, with even simple pursuits like parking the car and going shopping having changed considerably by the surge in data readiness. Many car parks now read the cars registration number, the payment Is ticketless and contactless (or even pre-pay). Meanwhile, many shops have a traffic light system to enter based on how many people are in the store - all, when you boil it down, reliant on data.
But data on its own is useless. The famous quote from Lord Kelvin (he of the temperature scale you learned about at school) that we've used as the title for this piece highlights the need for data to be applied to real-world challenges: by climbing the classic hierarchy from data to action. Firstly, gather the right kinds of data from the right people and sources. Secondly, use sensitive and creative approaches to dig out the nuggets of insight from that data. Thirdly, identify the right tactical and strategic approaches to capitalise on those insights and, finally, put the weight of your organisation's resources behind implementing those strategies in the real world.
Sounds easy, right? Of course, the truth is somewhat trickier. There's so much data out there that it is all too easy to be overwhelmed (what Frank & Magnone described as "Drinking from the Fire Hose" in their 2011 book of the same name). And yet, the challenging business climate we're likely to have to operate in for the foreseeable future creates challenges that only data science can address. The recent report "Creating a post-COVID tech future" from UNLIMITED describes technology as "the glue that holds our lives together".
It suggests that technology has come into its own during the pandemic and argues that it will become even more important as efforts to battle health, economic and climate crises ramp up. It ends by calling for businesses and citizens to embrace a greater role for technology in their lives if these efforts are to be successful. 2021 may just turn out to be the year when data science hit something of a tipping point, both in the role it plays within businesses but also within the public consciousness.
Stay tuned as the team at Realise provide more thoughts about data trends, why data science is so important now, any impact from the changes to online data and the willingness for customers to share their data. Plus, a look at the D&A singularity and whether all the data points one way.