Consider these figures:
– “About 90 percent of the digital data ever created in the world has been generated in just the past two years, only 1 percent of that data has been analyzed” – McKinsey Report
– “By the year 2020, there will be four times more digital data than all of the grains of sand on earth” – IDC Report
In recent times, there has been an explosion of data, and the need to understand and analyze that data, so as to obtain valuable insights. It is little wonder then that the demand for data scientists, application developers, and business analysts are accelerating in this data driven economy. Dan Sommer, Sr. Director Global Market Intelligence Lead at Qlik, in an exclusive interaction with CXOToday explains that the huge explosion and fragmentation of data are only going to multiply with time, thanks to the mobile, cloud and IoT revolution, so the changing trends of data fragmentation creates an urgent need for data literacy, which is the ability to utilize analytics tools to read and understand data, which is fast becoming an important and sought-after business skill in today’s world.
Sommer believes that ‘data literacy’ is only emerging and is the next big thing which needs to move up the value chain over the coming years. Unfortunately, however, there still aren’t enough people with the expertise to handle the ever-increasing, vast levels of data and computing. You would assume, with all the information currently being produced and held by businesses, that 2017 would see us in a new digital era of facts. But, without the right number of specialists to consume and analyze it, there’s a gap in resources. Data is, unfortunately, growing faster than our ability to make use of it.
Taking that into account, CXOs may have to rely solely on gut instinct even to make the most important decisions, which may lead to multiple and sometimes conflicting challenges, with the lack of reliability in the process. Sommer states, in order to fill the gap there is a need to empower people with the capability to analyze data, to obtain deeper layers of information that can aid in effective decision making, and right from the school level, Qlik is helping empower this concept to address this critical needs of the organization.
“Qlik’s integrated data governance capabilities can help companies and governments to derive better data insights and mitigate business risks,” said Sommer, but, these skills need to be honed and given direction, someone needs to shine light on the data,” he said, adding a rise in data literacy will result in higher number of data analysts and data scientists which in turn will lead to ‘information activism’ and activists. There is a big difference in being data-driven and being an expert at analyzing that data.
According to Sommer, in the digital age, we need to focus more on data literacy just like we need literacy and this is applicable to every industry vertical in the data driven economy. Information driven sectors such as banking and insurance, manufacturing and healthcare as well as telecom are currently the key drivers globally as well as in India. Retail and e-commerce, and various professional services can also create a unique value proposition.
“Going forward, more personalized customer relationship, risks and compliance and new business models can change the game for data literacy,” he informed.
Asked about the company’s India-specific plans for the next 1-2 years, Sommer said, “As you know analytics is arguably one of the most happening areas in IT; within that India is the hottest area and probably the fastest growing too.” India is super strategic and we’re expanding quite significantly in business in the region, he added.
Sommer emphasized, “Today we have moved from a gut based to a fact based decision-making genre and as a country, we are witnessing a huge amount of uptake for solutions from an analytics perspective.”