Data fear overwhelms organisations

Read time 1min 30sec

A lot of organisations are afraid of the vast amounts of data they are being faced with.

So said Isme Oosthuizen, head of business intelligence (BI) at IZAZI, yesterday during the ITWeb BI Summit 2014 at The Forum, Bryanston.

She referred this fear as "dataphobia" - an irrational fear of data, typically occurring when decisions need to be made.

Data is increasing at an exponential rate, said Oosthuizen, pointing out that 2.5 exabytes of data is being created on a daily basis, equivalent to five billion works of Shakespeare every day.

Citing a recent survey, Oosthuizen said 35% of businesses said that operating profit is diminished as a consequence of unreliable data. Some 50% of JC Penney's market capitalisation lost because of decisions based on HiPPO [highest paid person's opinion], she added.

She also revealed that there will a shortage of190 000 professionals with deep analytical skills required to fill big data jobs in 2018, adding that 39% of business representatives say that data is not made available fast enough to act on.

To overcome this fear, Oosthuizen believes that organisations should adopt a data-driven culture.

This entails performing internal security audits; utilising analytic and productivity tools; establishing a data reporting culture; giving staff access to data; holding regular data meetings; setting measurable goals; and communicating the right data etc, she explained.

Oosthuizen believes that extracting value from plain data as well as building business intelligence with incremental can also go a long way in overcoming the fear of data.

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