Data is the new oil — or maybe it’s an even more valuable asset — but companies are still working out how to cash in.

The stories listed below show sectors such as entertainment, accounting, finance, marketing, law and even blood donation are placing increasing value on data analytics and the professionals who can find meaning in enormous volumes of information.

But can they afford to hire them?

Finding a decent data scientist for less than the price of a deposit on a Sydney harbourside home is almost impossible these days. But that could change quickly and dramatically due to automation, according to Gartner.

Which-50’s most popular analytics stories of 2017:

1. Salary Survey: Top ranked data scientists still raking in huge salaries
Australia’s top-tier data scientists are still pulling in huge salaries despite a slight decline in pay levels among the elite ranks of the profession.

2. Gartner says the age of the citizen data scientist is dawning
More than 40 per cent of data science tasks will be automated by 2020, resulting in increased productivity and broader usage of data and analytics by citizen data scientists, Gartner predicts.

3. Who owns the data anyway? Definitely the client, says IBM
The growing potential to monetise data and extract business value from it means businesses and vendors must consider who owns the data collected in the process of doing business, and who has a licence to use it.

4. How Red Cross Australia is improving customer experience for its blood donors
The Red Cross is using data to better manage Australia’s blood supply.

5. Data is moving to the centre of the music industry, Says IBM M&E GM
Content has always been king in the media and entertainment industry, but now data is moving to the centre of the industry’s business models. That’s the opinion of Steve Canepa, general manager of global media & entertainment industry at IBM.

6. Aussie law firm Gilbert + Tobin turns to analytics to predict outcomes
Australian law firm Gilbert + Tobin is piloting prescriptive analytics software to help it improve outcomes for its clients.

7. Brands reveal how analytics drives powerful business change
Data analytics leaders from Tourism Australia, Coles and NAB share their own unique challenges and the lessons they when adopting data-driven marketing techniques.

8. Big data is delivering but potential goes untapped: McKinsey
Most companies are capturing only a fraction of the potential value of big data and analytics, according to a report from McKinsey & Company.

9. Robo-Accountants & digital transformation in the finance department
Finance functions and the accounting industry more broadly are on the cusp of a major transformational moment.

10. Majority of data scientists adding deep learning to their toolkits, says Gartner
Gartner predicts that 80 per cent of data scientists will have deep learning in their toolkits by 2018.

Over the next week Which-50 is publishing the top 10 stories for each of the categories we cover: Insights, Digital Marketing, Ecommerce, Industrial Internet, Analytics and Leadership.

Our regular editorial coverage will return on January 3, 2018. Thanks for reading!

Previous post

Which-50’s Top 10 leadership stories — 2017 reminded us why culture matters

Next post

Ten digital transformation Insights from Which-50 to wrap up 2017

Join the digital transformation discussion and sign up for the Which-50 Irregular Insights newsletter.