Demystifying Data Part 6: The Future of Data

The question we ask each other on my team all day long is “who cares?” – meaning, what is the purpose of what we’re doing? If it’s not goal driven, why do it? The other question we ask is “what’s next?”

What’s next in data? If you’re asking that question you’re already behind. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning are the tools and techniques that should at least be on your radar. Automating how data is processed is more reliable than trying to do it manually. There is less room for error when repeatable tasks are done programmatically, following a script. The process is predictable and if something breaks, you can more easily and quickly figure out where. Haven’t embraced the machines? In business, new technology often isn’t embraced in the workplace due to fear of becoming obsolete, or FOBO.

“We’re afraid of being left out because we’re afraid of being left behind.” – Mark Bonchek, CEO of Shift Thinking

I have worked in places where I’ve seen people go to painful lengths to prevent any sort of automation that might speed up the analysis process even a tiny bit. Where I am now, automation of any kind is fully embraced by the team with an eye towards, “go faster, do more”. Keeping up with technological advances is a double-edged sword. On one hand you can increase the quantity of work. On the other hand, you risk quality and human judgment.

Is there still a role for people if there is a movement towards more automation? The answer is yes. We need people to invent and create. We need people to experiment, develop and test. We need people to understand nuance and glean insights. We need people for strategic thinking and thought leadership. We need people to manage, grow and mentor other people.

When you think about the role of data, think about how it will enhance the work you and your team produce. Adding data to back up your pitch, blog or social post will make it more impactful and authoritative. Data will keep a record of what happened and predict how to move forward. Data will help you tell your story in a clear, concise manner.

Have questions on where to start? Give a shout and let SHIFT demystify the role of data for you.

Katie Lioy
Director, Marketing Technology


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