There is no doubt about it – data will have and probably is already making a significant impact on your organisation. Whether you work in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, technology, tourism, business services, telecommunications, gambling, financial services, or any other top sector in Ireland, data, data science and artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way things are done.
There are numerous sectors and industries contributing to the Irish GDP. For the financial year of 2017 going into 2018, Ireland’s GDP sat at $333,7 billion. Major Irish sectors contributing to the GDP included Agriculture, Construction, Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals and BioTech, Alcoholic Beverages, Business Services, Financial Services, Information and Communication Technology, including Software, Hardware and Medical Technologies, Tourism, and more. This post touches on 5 of the major impacts which Data Science and AI will have on such Irish top sectors; many of these impacts are already permeating organisations across multiple industries.
Major impacts of Analytics, Data Science and AI on these top sectors include:
#1. The increased utilisation of data sources within organisations
Where a lot of company data was previously stored for record-keeping or tax purposes, for example, organisations are now finding ways to better use a multitude of internal data sources for analytics, data science and AI. This means adequately, efficiently and accurately utilising existing data sources. However, many organisations are also finding ways of identifying, assessing and understanding the value of new data sources. For example, where all the correct regulatory provisions have been met (i.e. GDPR), there is great opportunity in collecting and analysing user data from unstructured data sources which may be incorporated as part of a greater business strategy.
#2. Data, Data Science, Analytics and AI is going to become a part of the organisation’s overall business strategy and operating model, if it isn’t already
The world over data is becoming a part of the business strategy and operating model. Where traditionally finance, technology and/or operations (i.e. CFO, CTO, COO, etc.) had a seat at the table in the war room, now data has become a very insistent (and persistent) player. There is still some resistance to this change, but not for long.
According to the 2018 National Analytics Maturity Study, published by the Analytics Institute, in partnership with EY and the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, which included responses from 100 of the top businesses in Ireland, 78% of companies see analytics having a real impact on business strategy. At the recent Gartner Data and Analytics Summit in Sydney, Wesfarmers’ GM of Advance Analytics Alan Lowthorpe stated that data and analytics has become the business strategy itself.
#3. Analytics, Data Science and AI offers better ways of improving internal processes and procedures
There are many examples of how Analytics, Data Science and AI is already improving internal processes and procedures for many organisations. For example, many logistics companies now use advanced vehicle tracking methods backed-up by geolocation algorithms, to not only track where vehicles are, but to also plan better routes and adapt to real-time traffic. This makes their operating model far more efficient and cost-effective.
Another example is the integration of data science into the insurance industry; many insurers are hiring resources, including Actuaries, with a passion for data science! It is no longer purely about running an insurance business with foundations in actuarial calculations, but rather about incorporating new ways of looking at and understanding data, resulting in building insurance entities of the future. This is revolutionising the way insurers are formulating and assessing insurance policies, claims, customer behaviour and more.
Furthermore, in agriculture, analytics, data science and the Internet of Things is utilised in the building of devices which accumulate data to better track livestock, changes in climate and to even predict droughts which could have adverse consequences across the board. This is highly significant in a country like Ireland where agriculture plays a pinnacle role in the economy.
#4. Creating a better product offering and putting the customer first
Analytics and Data Science is paving the way for the development of newer, better and more exciting product offerings. In fact, many companies have dedicated “Product Development” teams, which include a resident Data Scientists or two. Google Maps is one of the best examples of where an organisation is using masses of data with advanced machine learning algorithms and a continuous influx of data from numerous data sources, to create a better product offering to customers (and to also run its own internal processes and procedures in a more efficient way).
Irish headquartered companies such as Idiro Analytics (big data advanced analytics and marketing insights), Boxever (predictive analytics offering based on airline data) and Crème Global (curation and analytics of unique data sets for industry) are just a few examples of organisations with exciting analytics geared product offerings. The opportunities are boundless.
#5. Companies are already in desperate need of more data-focussed resources
It is a fact: in Data Science, AI and Analytics, there is massive demand and not enough talent. This is a major challenge facing the Data industry, worldwide. Without the correct resources, companies cannot compete in a market which is a knowledge economy; where the best resources are prized, highly sought after and fought over. In a knowledge economy, hiring the best and the brightest is essential to a company’s competitive advantage. In light of Brexit, companies continue to flock to Ireland and the demand and desperation for Data Science, AI and Analytical resources continue to grow.
In summary, data is making a huge impact and is essential to the success of your business. If you aren’t already incorporating it in some way or another, it’s time to act NOW! Ultimately, in the age we live in, trying to do business without data, is like running a marathon with your eyes closed. You can’t see where you’re going, who your competitors or clients are, and you’re bound to tumble into a ditch!