Data is ‘the new oil’

Data, like oil, has huge inherent value, yet difficult to access and refine to realise it’s true value.

The 20th century saw an explosion in oil extraction and oil became the commodity that drove the world economy. The 21st century is seeing a momentum shift in economic power, those with the power are those that are strongest in the digital world.

Businesses such as Amazon and Google are built on a ‘data first’ philosophy, using the data that they generate to drive customer interaction with their brand. Consequently, they have grown their market caps to values that no-one could have foreseen and even the current values are somewhat theoretical as no one truly knows the value of the data, and its applications, that such firms are creating.

From 2013 to 2020, the digital world is expected to grow by a factor of 10 – from 4.4 trillion gigabytes to 44 trillion. Like oil, data is worthless unless its inherent value can be extracted. Companies from start-ups to market leaders like IBM, are working hard to find data’s version of fractional distillation and enable the conversion of these trillions of gigabytes of unstructured data into actionable business intelligence.

Business leaders, to stay ahead of the competition and avoid being eclipsed by datacentric new entrants, need to realise the value of the data within their businesses. Blockbuster vs Netflix makes for a great case study here. The truly great business leaders in the digital era are those that use the insights found within their business data to make better, more informed and incisive strategy decisions and create insight driven businesses.

Context rich, real time analysis of the data that businesses create daily enables firms to gain greater visibility of their organisation and the interactions it has with its marketplace and customers. The analysis highlights potential opportunities to be explored and exploited.

As well as internal motivations to drive better strategic decisions, external factors such as compliance, social media and digital communications channels are driving specific innovations in data analytics.

Synetec’s Anasight analytics platform provides organisations with a simple to use single world view of all communications data within their business. Its machine learning engine enables leaders to drive better behaviours, better governance and better decision making.

Specifically, the volume of data that financial firms generate is increasing as more and more of their transactions and customer engagement becomes digital. In response to this the regulation of financial services firms is increasing.

Regulators now place a huge emphasis on the monitoring and proactive not reactive, analysis of firms’ communications, both internal and external. Firms must have stringent policies and procedures in place to minimise the risk of non-compliance through miss-selling or using unauthorised methods of communication with clients and colleagues.

The use of data and the implementation of the correct mix of technologies to proactively monitor communications is paramount to being compliant. The technologies deployed must be able to record multi-channel communications, store the content, allow access for retrieval and perform analysis.

The requirement to analyse omni-channel communications suggests that all data needs to be accessible and convertible into easily interrogatable forms. This data can then be analysed for the presence or absence of key words and phrases, as well as identifying patterns relating to key events and client sentiment to help drive strategic business decisions.

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