Freeman Cebu Business

The power of data: We better get ready to benefit!

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry J. Schumacher - The Freeman

Data has become the new life force that drives the world today. Businesses have always leveraged their company or customers information to make better, smarter, real time, fact-based decisions – from developing a new product, moving into a new market or business field or simply redefining an old process.

However, new technologies, an increasing number of connected devices, combined with better data collection tools and processes, are leading to an exponential increase in the volume and types of data available. Researchers around the world are in broad agreement that the size of the digital universe will double every two years at least, resulting in a 50-fold growth in this decade. Machine data is growing even more rapidly, at 50 times the growth rate.

The data revolution is creating unprecedented possibilities, not only for businesses, but also for governments and the public sector to inform and transform the society, while driving positive social impact outcomes.

There is an urgent need to leverage data and analytics to unlock insight that will enable regulators to design impactful, innovative solutions, jointly with constructive stakeholders in the private sector and civil society. We have to learn how to build and nurture communities, while helping create and maintain conditions that empower people. Let’s be very clear about this: in this environment, stakeholder relations are more crucial than ever. It goes without saying that such stakeholder relations must be built on trust. Trust and transparency are two sides of the same coin!

We are all facing the same challenges posed by the data revolution and the advent of the 4th industrial revolution. A rapidly changing work environment demands that the youth be equipped with the skills they need to thrive in the digital economy and move all of us towards a secure, sustainable and digitally-enabled economy.

Predictive analytics and data automation will be some of the hottest topics for business. Predictive analytics will allow business to assess future economic conditions, risk areas, climate trends, infrastructure maintenance and investment needs. It becomes obvious that companies have to train their staff in data analytics so that they can respond to market opportunities faster and – at the same time – avoid disruptive innovation.

There is a baseline of rudimentary analytics, and then there is the possibility of augmenting these analytics with machine-generated data queries through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). But let’s be clear: AI and ML will augment – not replace – human creativity in terms of framing unique analytics.

In conclusion, it is not just about equipping the youth with the necessary digital skills for tomorrow but also enabling them (and everybody else) to design impactful, innovative solutions to societal problems. We will have to tap on all stakeholders – public and private sectors, academia and civil society – in order to turn these challenges into opportunities.

Feedback would be more than welcome; contact me at schumacher@eitsc.com

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