This is the third in our series of themes from the latest BIR annual survey. The value of data is something that is constantly being discussed within organisations – How do we make the most of the data we have? How do we realise the benefits? How do we know what we know? how do we commercialise it?
All are interesting questions and equally important. Since the rise in popularity of ‘big data’ which started around 2005, (we have been focussed on collating data for much longer than that but technological advancements that culminated around this time gave rise to the possibilities of gathering and making use of large and potentially disparate data sets), organisations have been increasingly looking at gathering data – on their customers, on their competitors, markets, business environments to name a few. Within this time organisations have also been trying to figure out how they can realise the value of the data they have gathered. Even today with advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) organisations are still struggling to assess the value of data. If it is done correctly it can help inform strategy and investment in future business assets and acquisitions, if it is not then it can be very costly indeed. There are a number of ways for looking at how to measure the value of data but at this time none are accepted as the way forward.
McKinsey have written articles and conducted research in this area. They have found that those organisations that are able to leverage customer insights to inform and improve the business are out performing peers by 85% in business growth and sales. McKinsey note that most organisations find it difficult to realise the potential value of their data because of different technologies, legacy systems and siloed working meaning that data is fragmented all over the place. It is this situation in particular that hinders organisations taking real advantage of the data they already hold and can lead many into investing externally into research and competitive analysis in order to leverage value from data.
What is the answer? You the information professional are the key to the answer. An understanding of search, location and structure of the internal data as well as the context in which it was found and stored is vital to making sense of the wealth of data an organisation holds. Jinfo reported on the importance of the information professional in Data Analytics – ready your information service (see references below) looking at the importance of source expertise for gathering and analysing external data. In gathering and analysing data context and source are key to providing accurate insights to inform organisational strategy.
Read more about what information teams are considering and doing today to have an impact on data value in our annual research report published in September’s issue.
Data analytics – ready your information service https://web.jinfo.com/go/sub/report/2760