When enterprises take on digital transformation initiatives, they may underestimate the power to which digital has been altering industry landscape dynamics, consumer behaviors, economic fundamentals and what it means to stay competitive and relevant with its customers. People often forget how far we have come in a short period of time. The processing power of the latest iPhone is thousands of times faster and stronger than all of NASA’s computers were (combined) during the Apollo moon landing days. These mini computer devices are starting to connect to most of the world’s population, and this all happened since 2007.
Nowadays, iPad tablets and mobile devices have become almost symbiotically interwoven into many facets of our lives. In cities, most people can’t go anywhere without relying on navigational and ridesharing apps such as Google maps or Uber. Planning trips and vacations often come with using apps such as Airbnb, Trip advisor or friend recommendations on things to do, see and eat on Facebook. And even on vacation as long as there is a Wi-Fi connection, you can use your phone to check your email, listen to music, post and share experiences to Instagram, check your investment portfolio, automate and monitor your home, facetime your relatives, search the internet for movie or gift recommendations.
My job as Big Data Strategy professor and tech entrepreneur entails coaching and consulting with CIOs, CDOs, CTOs of enterprise organizations. But, when I look at these magical little smart phone devices, and all of the digital changes and technology innovations it can and will enable going forward, it usually makes me want to have a ‘come to Jesus moment’ with them. Some executives might have the belief that having a few technology initiatives in the works
such as AI pilot programs, automation and the integration of physical supply chains with digital technology is enough, well it’s not.
When you hear the word “data scientist,” what does that term mean to you?
Is it the “sexiest job” of the 21st century as the Harvard Business Review suggested? Does it describe a really smart person with advanced degrees in computer science, applied math, statistics, economics? Someone who analyzes and extracts business value from big data?
A data scientist can be all of these things and more. This type of professional looks for patterns and trends in large sets of data, using a variety of tools, techniques and critical thinking to arrive at practical solutions to real-life data-centric problems.
According to Hugo Bowne Andersen in HBR, “Data scientists use online experiments, among other methods, to achieve sustainable growth. They also clean, prepare, validate structured and unstructured data to build machine learning pipelines, and personalized data products to better understand their business and customers and to make better decisions.”
Now, even if you didn’t go to school in advanced analytics and data science, understanding the thought process data scientists go through might help your early-stage startup understand what it is exactly these professionals do:
Most enterprise companies interact with, operate on, and leverage data across a vast array of business departments. Data is generated by everything from web apps to cameras to heart rate monitors to Internet of things (IoT) sensors, which is empowering richer insights into human and “things” behaviors. Companies that want to make the transition into being a ‘data driven organization’ may entail coordinating operational business decisions to a systematic interpretation of information by deploying Advanced Analytics. With the goal of becoming adigital businessthat uses analytic insights to capitalize and launch new business opportunities. Now you might think that it is quite obvious that companies would understand the importance of using data. But, you would be surprised how many organizations do not fully align their Data Strategy with their business objectives.
How is it that some companies such as Netflix can spot technology trends and shifting consumer habits to make organizational pivots from a being DVD rental service to an online streaming subscription to finally becoming an award winning “original show” content producing internet TV juggernaut? And others such as Borders Books or Kodak couldn’t foresee market changes and failed to adapt and innovate to stay relevant to consumers.
I have previously taught a course called “Leading with Innovation: Align your Data Strategy with Business Strategy” on this exact topic. In this article, I plan to cover a few key elements that integrate data and innovation into Business Strategy.
Asha Saxena explores big data and how companies can use it to their benefit with Dun & Bradstreet’s Senior Vice President and Chief Data Scientist, Dr. Anthony Scriffignano.
In this episode, we uncover the fears that so many people and companies share with regard to big data. In our culture, we value privacy, and people feel as though with big data, nothing is sacred anymore, nothing is private anymore. Dr. Anthony Scriffignano explores this notion and provides insight into how big data is not scary but useful if curated to be used strategically.
Big data is here to stay. Businesses are using it, and if you don’t start using it in a meaningful way, you could be left behind.