According to IDC’s white paper, Data Age 2025, we are entering an era which is more focused on the value of data; as well as on the importance of creating, utilising, and managing ‘life critical’ data. They predict that the total amount of data in the world will swell to a mind boggling 163 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025, significantly exceeding previous estimates. Critically, there will also be a seismic shift in who creates the data - whereas consumers were once the primary creators of the bulk of the world’s data, enterprises will create 60 percent of the world’s data in 2025.
Many businesses have already amassed a wealth of disparate data and now face the prospect of understanding how to best access and use it to create new business opportunities – or how to use it to drive operational efficiency and competitive advantage. Strategic choices around approaches to data collection, utilisation and location are becoming even more business critical, and with vaster data sets becoming available by the day, the role of a chief data officer or data scientist is becoming even more important for businesses of all sizes.
According to Robert Yang, regional vice president at Seagate Technology, while the era of Big Data has been here for some time, the true value of data is not in the ‘known’, but in the ‘unknown.
“The opportunity for today’s enterprises and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs to capture the value of data is tremendous but it requires specific skills such as those found that data scientists bring to the organisation.”
Ian Friedman embodies the value a chief data scientist can bring to an organisation. Working with RoZetta Technology, an Australian data analytics business that develops customised data solutions that answer the big questions, his role is to discover the insights that help improve businesses, economies, and societies. He is a big proponent of encouraging clients to ‘get their hands dirty’ when it comes to digging deep into their data sets, in order to truly understand and ask the difficult questions required to tap the value the data holds.
His role in delivering a solution for Thomson Reuters is a fascinating testament to the impact data scientists can have on how businesses transform and learn to tackle the future.