Beyond “Big Data”, it is time to think about “iData”
The digitization of industries points to a future where the consumer is more relevant than ever
29 December 2015 - The rapid pace of digitization means that the world today is markedly different to 20 years ago when only 1% of the global population had an internet connection. Forty percent of people around the world had access to the internet in 2015, and in the majority of the Middle East countries, internet penetration is higher than the global average.
This new technological era means that businesses face a changing landscape where traditional ways of thinking, producing, and consuming data are being revolutionized. In his talk titled “Digitization of Industries” at the inaugural Beirut Digital Space event, Dr. Hassib Jaber, Consulting Leader for Deloitte in Lebanon highlighted new emerging trends, including the move from Big Data to iData.
“In the world of commerce, the fusion of IT with the working environment means a number of emerging trends are transforming “business as usual” across industries, functions, and geographies,” explained Dr Jaber. “Today the world is buzzing with all sorts of topics related to “Big Data”, based on the context of institutions in the private and public sectors, but for Deloitte there is a firm belief that the individual data, what is known as “iData”, should also be front and center. The question is how can this data be sourced, organized, and presented in a secure way that works for the “I” of the individual? This is the challenge of the future.”
The Deloitte presentation depicted how the adoption of technology has reached a point where people are no longer considered passive spectators but active players and consumers are increasingly active participants in the industrial process, becoming inseparable from “producers” of content, data, and even physical products. Amid this backdrop, personalization and customization of products has become more readily available, and consumers are increasingly apt to engage in the creation, or at least the conceptualization, of the products they buy. Manufacturers have also reconfigured their own business models in a way that helps them take advantage of the product-as-a-service concept, as seen with globally successful models such as Airbnb and Uber.
In response to more highly engaged customers, retail companies are defying convention, revitalizing stale consumer industries and inventing new ones changing the way people live their lives.
“At the same time the proliferation of digital technology is giving consumers access to an unprecedented amount of product information influencing their buying decisions,” concludes Jaber. “Specifically, in the retail industry, not only is more information available, consumers are increasingly accessing this information, and doing their own “homework” before visiting a retailers’ venue to make their purchase.”
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a more detailed description of DTTL and its member firms.
Deloitte provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. With a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories, Deloitte brings world-class capabilities and high-quality service to clients, delivering the insights they need to address their most complex business challenges. Deloitte’s more than 220,000 professionals are committed to making an impact that matters.
About Deloitte & Touche (M.E.):
Deloitte & Touche (M.E.) is a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL) and is a leading professional services firm established in the Middle East region with uninterrupted presence since 1926.
Deloitte provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services through 26 offices in 15 countries with more than 3,300 partners, directors and staff. It is a Tier 1 Tax advisor in the GCC region since 2010 (according to the International Tax Review World Tax Rankings). It has also received numerous awards in the last few years which include best employer in the Middle East, best consulting firm, the Middle East Training & Development Excellence Award by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), as well as the best CSR integrated organization.