It no longer matters what industry you work in, how many employees you have, or whether your company markets to consumers, businesses, the private sector, or the public sector. No matter where you come from, data and analytics are a daily reality. The volumes of data most companies receive on a regular basis are astronomical. IT departments across the globe are fighting to implement tools and practices, prioritize, and sort the information they receive, and organize it in a rational way so they can analyze and build their business intelligence efforts. The reality is that the volume of data we experience today will inevitably and continually challenge us, and the volume of data will continually outpace our ability to perfectly manage it.
Data should be at the center of everything we do; as executives who want our businesses to grow and thrive, we know this. We are constantly generating tools, capabilities, and skillsets to manage it, and then right behind it, we are generating different tools, functions, and methodologies, to analyze it, but we will likely always be behind the data rather than in front of it. For the near future, we can expect that we are going to want more from the data that we are generating than we are currently able to obtain because the pace of the generation of data is clearly outpacing our ability to come up with solutions.
However, if we can set aside the ideal scenario and, instead, find a way to mine that data effectively, analyze it, link things together, and create associations between data sets, we can create decisions and support structures across every single aspect of the business. This is the heart of business intelligence that enables us to accomplish things we have previously never dreamed of. Given the amount of data, given the advent of applications that enable us to analyze data, and given the capabilities that we have generated to link everything together, we have the ability to affect everything.
Though it may seem we are always a step behind our data, we are catching up quickly.