The Information Age and, subsequently, the Age of Insight, has fundamentally changed the business landscape with the help of Big Data. The businesses that have been early adopters of a data centric culture have seen significant growth in their industries. In fact, based on a study by the McKinsey Global Institute, a data driven organization is 23 times more likely to turn prospects in customers, 6 times more likely to retain them and 19 times more likely to generate a profit.

“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.”
-Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President, Gartner

How Has Data Science Evolved?

Before analytics, business executives had to use their “gut” instincts to make decisions. A good business person will typically make quality decisions. However, without data, mistakes are easy to make. It is even easier to overlook details hidden within our work habits and operation. Today, sophisticated analytics shed light on organizational blind spots and empower teams to correct those blind spots and innovate.

In the 1950s, before Big Data arrived, businesses utilized small batches of structured data that took much more time to prepare than to analyze. Believe it or not, this era, noted as Analytics 1.0, lasted over 50 years. That is until Analytics 2.0 burst onto the scene coupled with the .com era.

As the internet proliferated, so did the ability to track, collect and analyze data. Analytics 2.0 is where the term Big Data originated. According to Gartner, Big Data is data that contains a greater variety arriving in increasing volumes and with ever-higher velocity. In other words, Big Data refers to the abundance of complex data with an increasing number of new sources. The problem used to be a lack of data. The issue now is identifying the most important data using data science teams.

In the past, data was derived and gathered from internal sources. The fast adoption of the internet exposed businesses to an exhaustive list of external sources never previously available. Brand new data sets were available to be analyzed. Businesses finally had an effective and efficient way to track consumer data. This led to a revolutionary change in thought that bridged the gap between business operations, product development and marketing. Organizations were able to see how internal and customer-facing business applications work together to provide positive outcomes.

“War is 90% information.”
-Napoleon Bonaparte

Why Should My Business Adopt a Data Centric Culture?

Data-centric culture is all about empowerment through the democratization of information. Employees and stakeholders that understand how their work translates to positive outcomes can lead to a more engaged workforce. Instead of siloed departments and work, a data centric culture increases clarity, understanding and collaboration.

Employees begin to see how applying data to their work can lead to innovation. Those who have adopted data into their daily work habits have been able to quickly identify low value, inefficient processes and replace them with far more productive methods.

Data centric cultures can also speed up process and platform adoption. It is natural to fear and resist change. Data can show how an organizational change can have a positive outcomes turning cynics into advocates. A staff that is excited and engaged with an upcoming change can greatly increase its success.

Big Data is Here to Stay

Businesses are adopting more data solutions than ever before. Businesses that believe that the data revolution is a “fad” will undoubtedly be outpaced by their competitors. Technology will only continue to improve, increasing the speed and depth of analytics. In fact, many believe that we have entered Analytics 3.0 which includes intelligent analytics due to the onset of sophisticated machine learning and sentiment analysis. The gap will only continue to grow.

Big Data Leads to Big Actions

As you begin to adopt a data centric culture, your organization will begin to see more ways to improve through automation and high value applications. With a dearth of qualified IT talent to execute your vision, you will need to turn to a development partner to accomplish your goals and take your organization to the next level. Next Horizon is that partner.

*Next Horizon provides holistic technology solutions for businesses looking to improve sales, increase agility and optimize productivity. From deploying dedicated development teams to building bespoke business applications, Next Horizon uses its 40+ years of experience and award winning talent to provide business solutions for its clients.

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