How to create a data-driven culture and tap its full potential
IBM’s Ann-Elise Delbecq explains why businesses aren’t yet getting all the value they want out of their data – and how they canShow transcript
According to The Economist, data has replaced oil as the world’s most valuable resource. Data can help us achieve tremendous things; as individuals, as businesses, and as a society. But to extract the best value from data, you need to be using the best techniques and the best technology. IBM’s Ann-Elise Delbecq explains why businesses’ data still holds untapped potential, and how companies can create a data-driven culture. Learn more at ibm.com/analytics.
The New Economy: We have heard for the last few years now about this ‘untapped potential’ of data; is there still potential left to tap?
Ann-Elise Delbecq: So, I would definitely say that companies have started to analyse their data, but we still have a long way to go.
Companies do understand that they need to rely more and more on data, rather than gut feeling, to get new opportunities. But we do generate a lot of data around the world, and a lot of it remains untapped and not analysed.
So, I think we’re transitioning as we speak.
The New Economy: Why aren’t companies getting all of the value that they want out of their data? What’s the problem?
Ann-Elise Delbecq: I think it’s a combination of factors. So first of all there is weak decision making because of biased insights. And often that’s because there’s not one single version of the truth – that’s because they cannot access data sources, or they can simply not trust their data sources.
Second, there is also this complexity that is coming from the volume of the data, the speed at which data is generated. Different data sources. And also the different types of data, whether it’s structured or unstructured.
And then we also have this really growing cost and risk of protecting and managing data. So I think, really, companies need to create a data-driven culture to reap the benefits of data and analytics.
The New Economy: What do you mean by data-driven culture? And how can companies go about creating one?
Ann-Elise Delbecq: So I think first of all they need to see their data as a strategic asset. And they should also change a little bit their approach to managing data. So, I would really start with an open information architecture, so that teams are freed up from the inhibitors to get to that culture.
And then, you need really this one single version of the truth. You can do that by integrating, cataloguing, and protecting your data. And once you have that one single version of the truth, you can really infuse everything with data science and deep analytics. And that’s how you will get new insights that you never had seen before, and that’s how you will make better decisions and really drive change.
And then, we will want to get to artificial intelligence. That’s where you really are going to put the analytics that you have and the machine learning you really implement it, so that you really get to that path towards artificial intelligence.
The New Economy: What does that look like in practice? Give me an example of a data driven culture.
Ann-Elise Delbecq: Well for example, companies in the financial sector, that really want to better serve their customers. So, they really infuse machine learning and artificial intelligence in their call centres, so that they can better serve their customers. But they also added some real-time analytics into their fraud detection, and also loan underwritings; so that they could really make fast decisions and really be better organised.
The New Economy: Ann-Elise, thank you very much.
Ann-Elise Delbecq: Thank you.