Data & Business Intelligence

Article

Data & Business Intelligence

Data on the rise (part I)

It has not been long since a time that data was scarce, irregular and often of poor quality. Decision making, as a consequence, has long been based on this poor quality data - if based on data at all. The good news is that this has changed. Drastically. Deloitte Business Process Solutions (BPS) professional Joriël Koops touches upon the increasing role of data in the business landscape, and how owning data alone is not enough to get your organization in the lead.

In recorded history, humans have long been the main gatherers and creators of data. This started off simple, for example in the form of livestock registration, and later developed to encompass more complex data, including personalized medical profiles. The fact that humans have been in charge of data handling has initially worked out great, as data collection and research could be focused on only those aspects deemed relevant and important. However, over time the same human aspect has brought along a number of inevitable, restricting factors on the effectiveness regarding the use of data. People make mistakes, suffer biases, and are generally held back by the limits of their capabilities. As a result, human data handling is restricted in terms of accuracy and usability. Fortunately enough, recent technological advances have allowed us to shift the burden of data collection and processing to machines, which have not only begun to take over these processes but also managed to speed them up greatly and increasingly.

The advancements regarding data, however, go much deeper than simply quickening, error-proving and optimizing existing data-gathering processes. As humans, we are currently generating data points everywhere, at every moment and about everything. When we check-in at a train station, drive on a high way, buy a sandwich at a gas station, and even when we use a public bathroom, a data point is created. And it goes even further. Due to smart technology, even mundane everyday activities such as turning on lights, programming our heat, exercising and even being asleep now generate countless amounts of data about us.

All these different activities and channels providing data together lead to the generation of over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day. A number that has increased exponentially in recent years. As a matter of fact, ninety percent of the data that has ever been created is generated in just the last two years of our existence (Forbes, 2018).

This enormous amount of data offers many exciting opportunities, for businesses in particular. It is now possible to know more about customers than ever before. However, before we get ahead of ourselves, there is a very important realization to be made: data by itself has little value. No matter how much of it you collect, data only becomes valuable once actionable insights and information are extracted from the many individual data points. This is where yet more technology comes into play, in the form of Business Intelligence (BI).

Curious about the role of Business Intelligence when it comes to transforming data into valuable business insights? Stay tuned for next week’s article or read more about the Business Intelligence service offering of BPS here.

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