In a world that is being run by technology, data analytics is becoming very important.

Big Data is being described as the new oil, the worlds most precious commodity. Those who know how to use it will flourish; those who don’t will find themselves playing catchup while their competitors succeed.

I recently read two interesting articles on enterpriseinnovation.net which discussed this is great detail.

A price asset

The first article pointed out that no matter your organization’s size or type, data is your most valuable asset. As you continue to store and analyze customer and company data, companies must adopt a modern data architecture for a hybrid data strategy.

Historically, organizations have relied on on-premises architectures to run programs or store data. Today, more organizations are looking to the cloud for deployment of data workloads.

The article adds that Cloud computing enables new levels of business agility for IT, developers and data scientists, providing a pay-as-you-go model with unlimited scalability and no hardware costs. Processing your data on cloud platforms is especially effective for ephemeral use cases when you want quick results but need to manage your costs.

At the forefront

The enterpriseinnovation.net article pointed out that Asia Pacific is at the forefront of embracing the technology. The Cloud Readiness Index 2017 from the Asia Cloud Computing Association places Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia above markets such as Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States, for example.

The article added that As cloud adoption grows, hybrid cloud solutions are gaining traction. IDC has predicted by the end of 2017, 60% of the top Asia Pacific 1,000 enterprises will have digital transformation as a key part of their strategies, underpinned by hybrid cloud architectures.

6 steps to success

Here are some of the top reasons to leverage cloud technology for your big data processing jobs (taken form the enterpriseinnovation.net article):

Scale to your needs without the hardware headaches

Within enterprises, the analytics demand just keeps growing, yet the hardware can take weeks to become available, slowing innovation and limiting growth.

The cloud enables your data processing power to be available in real time: a simple flip of a switch and you can get to work. This gives you an overall data processing solution that scales rapidly to meet the demands of your business—whenever you need it.

Reduce your innovation costs

For companies just getting started with big data, the cloud makes perfect sense. Businesses are already experiencing the value of the cloud for quick, one-time big data projects to improve their business agility and gain insight, leveraging instant access to resources without high-cost investments.

Pay as you go

The cloud can be ideal for running your ephemeral use cases—where you want to spin up a job, get the results, and then shut things down (and stop the spending meter). Because the cloud is flexible and scales quickly, you pay only for the resources you use, when you use them.

Use the right machine for the job

With the cloud, you can easily use the right resources for the job. Cloud solutions offer users a choice of resources to provision different types of jobs, thus providing an intuitive, flexible solution to the problem of managing your variable resource requirements.

Draw insights from data where it lives

As businesses start using more and more devices “on the edge,” the data from these devices starts living in the cloud. Because analytics increasingly requires huge volumes of varied data, it makes sense for the processing platform to reside in the cloud as well.

Simplify your operations

Using the cloud, you can provision different types of data with different characteristics and configurations, freeing up the time spent managing resources to focus on higher-level concerns for the success of your business.

Literacy is key

We have seen how data can benefit your organisation. But data is nothing if it cannot be interpreted in the right way.

The second enterpriseinnovation.net article points out that moving to the cloud and adopting a hybrid data architecture can help you further tap into the data you’re collecting. As you look for the right big data solutions for your organization, keep these points in mind in order to make the most of your most valuable asset.

A global research launched by data analytics company Qlik has revealed an escalating skills gap preventing business decision-makers from asking the right questions of data and machines.

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Key reports

The article adds that despite McKinsey reporting that up to 800 million global workers will lose their jobs by 2030 as a result of automation and robotics, and Gartner hailing data literacy as the must-have skill in the workplace, most business decision-makers (76%) lack confidence in their ability to read, work, analyze and argue with data.

The highest level of doubt in data skills can be found among European executives (83%), followed by those in APAC (80%) and the US (67%).

The study surveyed more than 7,000 business decision makers around the world on the ability of employees to read, work, analyze and argue with data.

Basis for competition

Jordan Morrow, head of data literacy at Qlik, told enterpriseinnovation.net, “Data is now the basis for competition, relied upon by global enterprises to derive insights and win in the marketplace. However, an organization’s ability to succeed in this digital era is heavily dependent on its employees’ ability to learn a new language. The language of data. The fact that those leading the business are struggling to get to grips with data is not just preventing them from thriving in their own leadership position, it is also hampering their ability to drive a data cultural change across the business.”

“In response to this extreme data literacy deficiency, there’s still time for organizations to win big with a powerful collective of robotics, automation and data literate workers, but urgent action is needed to steal a competitive edge.”

Expert views

The enterpriseinnovation.net article adds that the new global report features insights, opinions and best practice advice from a range of industry experts as well as data leaders at end-user organizations.

Data strategist Bernard Marr said in the report: “Data is a major source of power and the foundation for transformational change through artificial intelligence, automation and advanced, predictive analytics. And while we’re seeing huge progress being made to uncover insights which will drive efficiencies and improve customer experiences, further growth is being hindered by a widespread deficiency in data confidence.”

Enterpriseinnovation.net reported that Nick Blewden, head of business intelligence and data products at Lloyd’s of London, added: “In the digital economy, all our staff are users of data, and we’re working with a huge range of data literacy abilities. The need to upskill is nothing to be ashamed of or frightened of. However, it does need to be taken seriously – particularly in an industry like ours where we are under intense competitive pressures and need to operate as efficiently as possible.”

If you want to be agile and grow in the way that we have been doing, employees must be trusted to make their own decisions,” Geertjan Woltjes, COO at Quooker told enterpriseinnovation.net. “Access to dashboards and tools means our staff do not need to consult a manager before changing schedules or calling suppliers; they can just get on and do it.

“We are seeing the most data literate employees really enjoying the autonomy, driving business growth and accelerating their careers. Over time, dedicated education programs will grow the confidence of all employees with varying levels of ability. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to make important decisions based on accurate insights and achieve more in their job role.”

Enterpriseinnovation.net added that Mark Singleton, head of business intelligence at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, shared: “Our approach is to give employees the motivation to look at data and ask questions that haven’t been asked before. Turning insights into action and experiencing positive outcomes for themselves means employees continue to lean on data to inform and enforce new ways of working. We are building up the skills and the abilities across the organization – from cleaners to nurses and analysts – so the BI team doesn’t have to be a bottleneck to getting the answers they need.”

Finally, enterpriseinnovation.net pointed out that David Tan, United Overseas Bank’s head of Big Data Analytics Group, summed it up: “We have some incredible analytical brains within our organization and they play an integral role in raising data literacy among all employees. As we adopt technology such as AI and machine learning to enhance the way in which we serve our customers, we want communications to be open so that everyone across the bank understands the data-driven possibilities.”

Practical advice

In the report, Qlik also reveals insights into data illiteracy and offers practical advice for how to empower all employees with the data, tools and learning to achieve personal success and capitalize on an unprecedented economic opportunity. Key findings include:
The article adds that data is the secret to career success: The majority (85%) of data literate business decision-makers say they are performing very well at work, compared with just over half (54%) of their peers. In addition, most who use data in their current job role not only agree that data helps them do their job better (94%), but that greater data literacy would give them more credibility (82%) in the workplace.

There is boundless enthusiasm to learn: Most business decision-makers (78%) would be willing to invest more time and energy into improving their data skillset, representing a significant opportunity to drive a cultural change without substantial resistance. Executives in India have the highest appetite to learn (95%), followed by those in APAC (72%) and, finally, Europe (65%).
The article adds that levels of confidence vary across and within regions: Business decision-makers in India have the highest level of confidence (46%), followed by the US (33%), Spain (27%), UK (26%), Australia (22%), Germany (20%), Singapore (17%), France (16%), Sweden (15%), China (12%) and Japan (8%).

Jordan Govender
Jordan Govender
Designer. Musician. Part of GTconsult's A-Team. Enabling secure productivity daily!

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