If your business is not data driven within five years you will not have a business, according to  Annette Slunjski, Managing Director of the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia.

She said, “We’re not going to be in the fourth industrial revolution unless we can start harnessing the data we have and start making better decisions.”

“One of the biggest issues for the country is that there is a cohort of workers who aren’t data literate who are about to have their jobs disrupted by automation.

“They won’t be able to find new ones, unless they have data skills because those are going to be mandatory. Data understanding and data literacy education is an organisational imperative to be part of the emerging data economy.”

A study by IDC predicts that spending in Australia on big data and business analytics solutions will make up around 18.2 per cent of the $5.5 billion spent on such solutions in the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan) in 2018.

Nigel Mendonca, Country Manager, Australia and New Zealand at Tableau said, “Change needs to begin at the top, with senior executives advocating a culture of data driven decision making throughout the enterprise.

“Australian companies have historically been early adopters of business intelligence solutions but the problem is, they’re often used by a small, centralised group in a ‘report factory’ fashion and not by the workforce at large.

“To truly change the game and take advantage of the immense opportunity at hand, organisations need to move away from this siloed approach and give all employees the ability to ask and answer their own questions of data.

Data analytics is most powerful when carried out by the people that know the data the best.”

Data driven businesses and economic growth

Slunjski noted statistics saying by 2030, countries that lead in AI will drive an additional 20-25 per cent in economic growth.

She said, “While those organisations leading in AI will double their cash flows that adds 1.2 per cent to global GDP but the job mix is going to change.

Slunjski explained there will be a 25 per cent shrinkage in repetitive tasks that has low data and low digital skills.

“That is huge. It’s a compounding effect so if we don’t get started now we are never going to get anywhere close to any of these kinds of benefits in 2030. If your business isn’t data driven in five years you are not going to have a business,” Slunjski said.

She noted that five years ago Uber and Airbnb arrived in Australia, “Five years is a very short time to come a long way.”

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