Where data fails

Data is good, don’t get me wrong.

Data tells the real story, data reveals the hidden facts, data is the new oil or new gold, depending on which is your preferred precious commodity.

And yet, as we meet clients and talk to them about data, we keep realising that very many of them cannot imagine a world that is data-driven. They cannot fathom that their business will be run on data, and guided by algorithms, not gut feel. That entire marketing departments may become redundant, or will need severe re-training. This scenario is not so distant: Air Asia’s chatbot is doing so well that they plan to shut down their customer contact centre by the end of the year. Even if that is hyperbole, that’s an impending change that will shake the old order.

So why do clients feel the days of data dominance are far away?

Possibly because:

  1. It’s a math or tech thing, which turns many people off, especially marketers
  2. Companies don’t have a data strategy, so there is no internal champion
  3. Their data science team is solving piecemeal problems, on the periphery of organisational transformation, but not revolutionising their entire company
  4. They don’t have data, and hence cannot imagine what data can do

More importantly, as the entire consulting industry tries to sell more data in Malaysia, I think the onus is on VISUALISING THE EFFECTS OF DATA ON BUSINESS.

Make what you do visible, clear and tangible, and then you could have traction.


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