Empowering data-driven innovation starts with citizen data scientists
If data is the new oil, why aren’t each and every one of us overnight millionaires? At our fingertips, we all have access to countless terabytes of information, and yet only a few people on the planet manage to produce a new, exciting digital product that’s so successful it becomes a household name.
The answer lies in how the businesses we set up collect, process, and use the data that flows through the internet daily.
So-called big data was, until just a year or two ago, an esoteric area of research, the concern of academic departments who furthered the science of how best to process information through distributed systems, grid and stream computing.
Today, however, every business has at its disposal the types and amounts of data that used to only exist in the data centers of large government-scale institutions. It’s making intelligent use of these repositories that challenges businesses in APAC today.
The citizen data scientist?
Where academics processing data had the luxury of experimenting with methodologies, the business-focus required of all decisions where it comes to technology means companies need to be highly pragmatic. One way of achieving impactful results from empirical business intelligence is for organizations to develop their own citizen data scientists– also an insight shared at the regional information hub JOS TALK. Launched by Hong Kong-based IT services company JOS, JOS TALK brings insights of driving data-driven innovation by empower business users.
The empowered business citizen is not a new concept: citizen developers already use low-code and no-code platforms in RPA (robotic process automation) settings, using technology to remove repetitive and time-consuming tasks better undertaken by technology.
According to JOS TALK, citizen data scientists are those best placed to interpret the data, as they are similarly the best source of drivers for digital transformation. After all, the citizen data scientists know the business inside out, plus have to hand the information needed to create meaningful change.
They are perhaps best qualified to interpret data as they tend to be power-users of technology that know the business intimately. Big data processing solutions at present tend to be excellent for processing data after-the-fact, discovering historical trends, and seeing where, for instance, bottlenecks exist in business processes. But in today’s quickly moving environment, retrospective insight is not enough, and it’s becoming armed with business-focused big data tools that can differentiate a company from its slower competitors.
With the right data architecture, platforms, and guidance from specialist partners, building hypothesis reports for ad-hoc and predictive analytics to exploit new opportunities is now a real possibility.
Such are the possibilities of new data platforms (many of which utilize machine or cognitive learning), there’s no need to use complicated programming languages. Even complex platforms like customer sentiment analysis – a mainstay of customer care and marketing, going forward – are possible, given the right technology and approach on hand, for the citizen data scientist.
Data gathering and normalization are prerequisites for business analysis, but with such quantities of data available today, it’s impossible for human staff to wade through the data to any significant effect. Instead, the available platforms, properly applied, create business insights that will put a company miles ahead of its competition.
A place for the exchange of digital transformation ideas: introducing JOS TALK
While big data plays a critical role to bring innovation into business reality, other complementing technologies—IoT, AI, cloud computing and cybersecurity–are just as important.
“These are the five most important technologies to enable innovation,” says Mark Lunt, Group Managing Director, JOS.
The company’s thought-leadership and ideas exchange center JOS TALK is dedicated to share technical knowledge and experiences in APAC business innovation.
Lunt explains that poor decisions made in the area of digital transformation are often the result of excitement and marketing hype.
“Stepping back is often important, as the bigger the aspiration, the more detached it may be from the reality,” he says. “Making innovation real needs to start small, win fast, then moving on to more ambitious goals, having built credibility by delivering results.”
With 2019 shaping up to be a challenging year for business right across APAC, amid scaled back growth projections from governments and the US-Chinese trade conflict rumbling on, the JOS TALK hub becomes an increasingly important focal point for information with which pragmatic and realistic technology decisions should be based.
The opportunities are there for all, but it’s a wise business professional who can learn from the decisions of others. Beginning any digital transformation journey with the knowledge bank at JOS TALK is one way that the obvious pitfalls can be avoided, and ensure that one is on the right path.
Run by JOS (part of the worldwide Jardine Matheson Group), the thought-leadership site came about as a result of a need felt by many that a reality check, away from the hype, was required. If you want considered opinion on the direction technologies might be used to drive a digitally-charged business in the Asia region, look no further.