Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (Data Strategy: Part 1)

Over the last three months, I have spent much of my time talking to people across the industry; discussing clients’ wishes, needs and thoughts about where the marketing, media and insight worlds are heading.

The common theme across all sectors was the growing importance of analytics and big data.  This was often accompanied with a familiar sentiment; “I believe I need to be doing it, or doing more of it, but I don’t know what to do next, or indeed what it is”.

Not surprisingly, given how digitised the world is now, analytics is the modern growth economy. The quote of “data being the oil of the 21stcentury” has been attributed to several authors, and whoever did first coin the expression is correct.  The global data-sphere grew from 2 zettabytes (1 ZB = 1×1021bytes) in 2010 to 26 ZB in 2017, and is forecast to continue aggressively to 175 ZB in 2025.

Global datasphere total size (ZB) worldwide from 2010 to 2025[1]


Revenue from the data market is expected to grow 32% [2] from 2019 to 2022.

Importantly it is not the unique preserve of the GAFAM corporations; across the board more companies have more data.  However, for most there is a significant gap between where they are now and where they could be in terms of monetising the full value from their data in terms of top line growth, optimising their business operations or managing the bottom line.

In 2015, the MIT Sloan Management Review [3] identified three categories of businesses with respect to data maturity; the analytically challenged, analytical practitioners and analytical improvers.  What’s important to note, is that this spectrum is not based on corporate scale, but on the data maturity and culture within each business.

Screenshot 2019-02-20 at 21.17.28

In 2016, CEBR produced a report for SAS “The Value of Big Data and the Internet of Things to the UK Economy”, which identified the key economic benefits of Big Data Analytics in the UK from 2015-2020, clearly demonstrating the scale of the opportunity by sector.

Big Data analytics in the UK from 2015 to 2020, by industry (in £m’s) [4]


So there is value in business moving from the Analytically Challenged, to Practitioners and Improvers. The big question is how to achieve that?

There are a number of clear steps that need to be followed:

  1. Demystify the big data, analytics and artificial intelligence world
  2. Provide clear evidence based business cases that are client and sector specific
  3. Identify the major hurdles and solutions
  4. Each organisation needs a clear and focussed Data Strategy

Over the next weeks I’m going to give some brief thoughts about how we can achieve each of these steps, culminating in the most important step; how companies can build their own bespoke Data Strategy.  This will be a focused plan to help businesses reach their key goals through the adoption of the stronger data driven decision making, impacting both their top and bottom lines.

[1].  Seagate; IDC; Statista Estimates (2018)
[2].  451 Research (2018)
[3].  MIT Sloan Management Review – Beyond The Hype:  The Hard Work Behind Analytics Success (2016)
[4].  CEBR report for SAS – The Value of Big Data and the Internet of Things to the UK Economy (2016)

This Post Has 3 Comments

Leave a Reply