The power of data as a business input

We’ve all read the headlines proclaiming data to be the new oil; the panacea for all business woes and the font at which c-level executives should be worshipping.

And yes, it is true, data is important, but few organizations understand how to structure their decision-making around transformational insight as opposed to fanatically collecting, storing and analyzing as much data as possible about their customers with the blind faith that doing so will enhance operations. In today’s data-rich, machine learning, advanced analytical environment the tendency is to collect more and more data, and the challenge, therefore, lies in managing and extracting real value from that data. In neurological terms information is ‘addictive’: it ignites a hoarding compulsion. This coupled with a significant reduction in the price of data storage, and the growth of analytics means the amount of data collected by organizations is increasing. In a recent survey of CEOs a quarter admitted that their organization collects significantly more data than it needs particularly transactional customer data.

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