Data has integrated itself into our business lives without much fanfare. It has quietly revolutionised the way that we market, promote and reach out to customers and leads. At the same time, it has subtly enhanced our professional experiences, from recruitment through to organising daily schedules. It is to the 21st century what the discovery of oil was to the 20th and has much more potential than has yet been tapped.
It’s rarely acknowledged just how often data makes an impact on our daily lives but it’s not only the stuff of analytics. Getting to work on time in a car using a GPS sat nav is made possible because of data, as is being able to track a client delivery or place a stock order online. If you’re counting your steps around the office every day then the fitness tracker you’re wearing is data driven, as is the app you’re using to set up that after work drink. Basically, digital exists because data does. From informing your marketing strategy for the coming months, to creating internal performance reviews based on sales, daily life – whatever you do with it – is filled with moments when data and humans collide.
Of course, the great thing about data is that we still don’t yet really know what it’s capable of. Data can expose opportunities that we didn’t know existed and deliver insights that offer serious lifestyle upgrades. But what can we expect from it when it comes to our business lives in the near future?
Machine learning – artificial intelligence is already being used in business on a small scale for tasks such as automating decision making and expediting certain financial processes. It’s highly likely that machine learning, fuelled by data, will continue to change the way we do business and the way we experience it, from detecting fraud, to retail shelf analysis and drone based asset management. From the human perspective this doesn’t mean we’ll all be replaced by robots. Instead, it should free up human brains for more value adding tasks and create an entire new industry around machine learning maintenance and development.
Business intelligence – 2017 was the year of data science making its mark for the first time. The use of ever more advanced analytics is going to make it easier for businesses to make more strategic decisions based on quantitative evidence. This means you’ll have a wider array of tools with which to do your job, from data visualisation to predictive analytics.
The Internet of Things – in the workplace the data-fed Internet of Things is going to make our business lives more efficient. For example, businesses will be able to better utilise workspace by installing sensors to see how every square foot is used in a day and make changes as a result. Connectivity will enhance productivity – you’ll be able to do more in less time and with less effort – and the age of office-based working could well be over as a new data-driven era of collaborative, remote working dawns.
Data is driving the business world onward at a blistering pace – the question is are you positioned to keep up?
Have an opinion? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Tweet us @nimbusmaps.