By 2019 The Majority Of Businesses Will Be Data-Driven & The Data Scientist King

By 2019 The Majority Of Businesses Will Be Data-Driven & The Data Scientist King

Australia’s retail, manufacturing and government sectors have already made the shift to data-driven decision making — but by 2019 a clear majority of Australian businesses will have joined them, according to research by Telsyte.

The company says its research suggests big data is fast becoming the ultimate way to empower CEOs and boards to drive the innovation agenda. There is also a growing realisation that the information era is leaving traditional decision making methods behind.“We are seeing a new-generation CEO, who no longer relies on a hunch or gut feel to determine the future direction of their organisation,” Telsyte senior analyst Shayum Rahim says.

Telsyte predicts that if the CEO is not a data scientist themselves, the organisation will certainly have one on the executive team within the next few years. “The data-driven CEO uses numerous sources of data to make decisions with precision, which is now essential in being able to report to the board and ultimately shareholders,” Rahim says.
“We do see people like Richard Umber, who was not a data scientist himself but helped transform Woolworths through a rather rigid adherence to analytics. As we enter the information era, where there is now a heavy reliance on data, we do not see it as impossible or improbable that data scientists — or people of that skill set, which is indeed in short supply — could start up their own companies, or take leadership roles in companies they join.”

Rahim said that the disruption that big data has caused is not only to current technology, but to managers themselves, because data exposes them to a lot more scrutiny. “We see a new generation of business leaders emerging that have data analysis in their kit bag as an essential tool to do their jobs, and the stakeholders will expect it of them. Yes, the art of intuition is being lost, because the risk of error is greater, and the data-driven enterprise demands precision.”

Telsyte research conducted with CIOs, CMOs and other business and technology leaders shows that 38 per cent of large businesses are currently using big data analytics, however many organisations are still at the early stages of maturity. The study also identfiied existing barriers to big data adoption in Australia, such as the ongoing skills shortage, and infrastructure and data integration challenges.

The research also shows that big data investments outside of the remit of IT are fuelling the growth of IT spending. According to the study, “Around five per cent of organisations have Line of Business (LOB) spending on technology surpassing that of the IT department.”

The researchers expect this trend to continue driven by solutions that utilise data from “Internet of Things”, social media and digital marketing. The main spenders outside of IT were Management (63 per cent), Operations (62 per cent) and Marketing (54 per cent).

For many organisations, the Big Data journey has begun with their e-commerce, CRM and marketing data, and this is creating a more empowered CMO. “Data does not just inform; ideally, it persuades,” Telsyte senior analyst and digital marketing lead Steven Noble says. “Data-driven leaders in fields like marketing, eCommerce and executive management use insights to craft inspiring stories that bathe the company, its customers and its competitive environment in a whole new light.”

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