Why Your Understanding of Data is All Wrong

By John Dillard

data center

Data. Data Science. Big Data. Data-Driven. Data-Centric.

Ok, we get it -- data is important. Unfortunately, the buzz-wording of data has obscured what it really is (and isn’t), what do with it, and why it matters.

In professional services like law, consulting, accounting, and finance, you already know that data is important for solving technology, operations, financial, and other “hard” problems. However, it has become an absolute must even for soft skills -- like interpersonal dynamics, leadership, culture, and organizational development. If you are selling or buying any of those services, and you aren’t considering the far-reaching effects of data science, you’re going to pay for it -- dearly.

If you’ve ever been overwhelmed by data, you’re certainly not alone and your feelings are probably justified. According to recent research by companies like IBM, 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. And just how much data are we talking? About 2.5 quintillion bytes, according to IBM. A lot of that data isn’t mass produced by PhDs in the basement -- it’s driven by the exponential growth in sensors carried around by people in your company. Go ahead and pick your jaw up off the floor so you can figure out how your company can manage all this data and use it to your advantage.

Here’s the simple bottom line – you, as an executive, need to find advisers who are well versed in data science, even if they aren’t a data science firm.

It’s a complex art, and rarely is there one person who can perform it adequately on his or her own. The Nate Silvers of the world are extremely rare – the data scientist able to analyze and interpret seemingly limitless information in order to make predictions that could end up revolutionizing your company. We’re talking maximizing efficiency and profits in ways that most people would never think of.  Good data science can not only predict problems that may otherwise be missed, but can predict amazing solutions to those problems.

While this may seem like a small aspect of running your business, that’s what Microslices is all about. If you can optimize these narrow slices, the big picture will be that much better for it in the end.

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