It seems that everyone at the WEF is talking about data this year.
Technology has revolutionized the way we do business, but also our everyday lives. In developed countries, consumers increasingly shop, communicate, bank, lobby.. even date! using digital technologies. In fact, in many ways, consumer technology use is well ahead, and often drives, business technology use. In developing countries, the shift is sometimes happening even faster. Countries like Kenya (which leads the world in mobile money) are fast-tracking straight to mobile technologies, to fuel growth:
Even businesses like Wal-mart are becoming a technology company -amazing! In its relentless drive to cut prices, Wal-Mart embraced technology to become an innovator in the way its stores track inventory and restock their shelves, cutting costs and passing the savings along to customers. For them, optimizing their supply chain has been key to their success and requires significant technology and analytical skills. http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/85508/wal-mart-used-technology-to-become-supply-chain-leader
So what does this mean for jobs? During these first few days at this year's WEF I must have met at least half a dozen data scientists. I see them constantly surrounded by business people trying to understand how we can do more with big and unstructured data.
The challenge is sorting through these vast amounts of data to find what is useful and can give companies insights into consumers and competitors so as to develop a competitive edge. But sorting through data will only provide useful insights when one asks the right questions, which is not always easy. Without focus, or with the wrong focus, businesses could incur significant economic losses by using the wrong data.
In my view, this simply requires companies to re-shift their business approach. And the sooner the better as it's here to stay. We are already seeing winners and losers coming out of this.
What are your views? Is big data just a fad? Who are the real winners? Which companies are ahead, which are behind?
Location: Davos, Switzerland