At the moment it seems as though there is a new article published every day espousing the virtues of the â€˜Big Data Revolution'. The term â€˜Big Data' seems to quickly be moving into the realm of industry jargon, ill defined and over-used. But just as it gains buzzword status it is essential that we do not overlook the inherent value offered by analytics created insight. This is the core reason why we are running Big Data World Europe in September, to provide clear examples of how data is being used right now by your contemporaries to drive their businesses forward.
At the heart of many of the case studies at our conference is the desire to forge a closer, more interactive relationship with the consumer, as well as to ensure competitive value. This is great news for the consumer. It means that whereas deals and offers in the past were defined by human calculation, or even by rule of thumb, they are now generated by complex analytics working of reams of personal data.
However, according to an article in the New York Times last week, it is bad news for those in previously prestigious professions such as sales. With Big Data offering an â€˜optimisation of labour' there will be less need for manpower in the consumer relationship story.
I would disagree with this on two counts. The first is that whilst data mining technology is able to form great insight, it is only valuable if put into action by a human expert. A marketeer with the ability to ask the right questions of the data, and use analytics to get an answer, is extremely valuable. The second is that whilst there could be a slight slimming of salesmen, this will correspond with the increased need for data scientists and analysts. McKinsey claims that by 2018 there will be a 140,000 to 190,000 person shortfall of analytical talent. The message is clear. Discover the value of Big Data and get trained up to get best use of it.