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Data is The New Oil - Key Takeaways from The Analytics Summit 2022

Article
7 minutes
Post by
Elaine Murphy - Product Marketing Executive

To Summit all up

Last Thursday, myself and two colleagues attended The 7th Annual Analytics Institute's Analytics Summit. After two years of adapting to unprecedented changes in the marketplace, it was time to sit down, reassess and chat about the evolutions in data. A key quote which was popping up throughout the day was that ‘data is the new oil’, highlighting how valuable the information being extracted from data really is. The speakers explored different perspectives on where value can be found in data and also the different ways to use, visualise, work with and show it off. Here is a snapshot of some of the insights from the day.

Data that's valuable

It seems like a pretty obvious one, but it is worth reminding readers that all data is valuable, old or new. The pace of change in digital trends and insights in the marketplace is incredible, and the volume of data being produced is not slowing down. Bill Schmarzo talked about how data never depletes in value. We can use it over and over again with ‘zero marginal cost’.

‘It’s not about the volume of data, it’s about the granularity’.

Even if you think your organisation has little data to utilise, small learnings internally will naturally get bigger overtime. Schmarzo went on to say that using analytics within the business doesn’t have to revolve around numbers and AI machines. Organisational empowerment comes from a person's curiosity, innovation and creativity.

‘We’ve wiped curiosity in standard testing, but it’s what we (humans) do best’.

Similarly, David McCandless showed the audience a different way of looking at data, and how it can be quite beautiful to observe. With few words and numbers featuring in his presentation, he painted a picture on how data can be used to tell a great story. One of the most memorable visuals he showed was a chart highlighting data fluctuations across a 12-month period. We had to guess what we thought the data was representing, and to our amazement, he was showing the times of the year where people are most likely to break up with someone (March/April were popular times as they fall into the ‘spring clean’ time bracket).

David McCandless showing the audience a graph of common break-up times during the year

His passion for the data visualisation topic was palpable through the screen (David joined the Summit virtually). He showed the power of visualisation, seeing data as a visual, rather than reading it, is primal to us. David presented data using both visual and written examples, highlighting that two languages are hitting our brain at the same time (which was pretty cool to think about).

At Global Reviews, we try to bring in the human element to all our work. Our data and insights are evidence-led and inform clients on how to create the best digital journey for their customers. We help inform their digital strategy, understand where to focus and show them (in our own way) how information (and insights) are beautiful.

Data that's in everyday life

Whether we realise it or not, data permeates everything we do in life, like playing sport. Tolly Coburn, Head of Data Analytics at Arsenal FC and Emmet Farrell, Senior Performance Analyst, Leinster Rugby, highlighted how they use data analytics to improve player performance over a period of time. For data to be impactful, the insights extracted need to be actionable and drive change.

While Global Reviews don’t analyse goal scoring figures and possession breakdown on the pitch, we do provide digital insights in industries we interact with daily, like insurance, healthcare and education.

Data that's enabling end2end transformation

The Analytics Institute Thought Leaders Panel talked about digital transformation, and how companies should leverage digital to move their company forward. Digital Transformation isn’t just about the IT department, it involves the whole organisation, and moving forward as one.

This is something that resonated with the three of us from Global Reviews, as it is something we always discuss with our clients. For affective digital transformation to take place, it needs to involve everyone internally. The only way to affectively achieve this end2end digital transformation is by breaking down internal silos, invite communication from all roles in the business, and driving the change in all departments.

Analytics Institute Thought Leaders Panel
'Digital transformation isn’t revolutionary, it’s evolutionary.'

It’s happening constantly, so small incremental changes are the best way to start introducing to the business. Carolann Lennon, Country Leader of Salesforce, highlighted how organisations are keen to chase the ‘red bauble’, and be reactive to what is happening externally, rather than focusing on what your organisation and customers actually need.

Konstantinos Liakeas from Microsoft, talked about the main concerns of bringing digital into the business, and what keeps CDO’s up at night. Digital can be a scary thing, especially if you don’t know where to start, who to involve or how to do it. Some of the main roadblocks revolved around complexity, uncertainty and internal governance.

  • Complexity– more teams internally need to engage with data and digital, but they don’t have the knowledge or training to understand it.
  • Uncertainty– some organisations don’t know where to start making changes or keep value.
  • Governance – too many teams and people get involved in every project, so there is internal politics.
  • Skills– new ways of working and people not being trained.
  • Time to value – new solutions/recommendations take ages to implement.

If CDO’s aim to tackle these obstacles from the get-go, it should make the task of digital implementation much easier, and allow them to get a good nights sleep.

This article shows only a fraction of the insights uncovered across the day. There were so many other insights, I couldn’t possibly type them all up. Overall, The Analytics Institute of Ireland put on a great show, opened my marketing eyes to what data analytics and digital can be defined as, and how there are so many different ways of discussing the topics.

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