Beauty lies in the eye of a beholder! This could be one thing that may not be related to data in anyway – but it actually is! Business data is only helpful when you are able to observe and point out the useful bits of information. Else, it is of no use! It is truly like finding a needle in a haystack; but then that’s what you get paid for!

In an age where every movement of your finger is a goldmine of data, every little click or tap on the phone screen signifies your feelings towards a product or brand, understanding data/ big data in business has become as important as breathing! Every bit of this data is not useful, but it still is the reason for a host of business decisions that a brand manager or a CEO takes. These are related to the kind of ad to be run, the kind of product to be launched, the markets that have to be targeted or if a product has to be phased out of production.

This is the reason why many large companies, today have thousands of employees working in their data centres to get the best insights that help them steal a march over competition.

FMCG companies are excellent examples for this. FMCG companies sell many products at the same time –soaps, shampoos, food products, etc. How do they analyze which products are doing well? Which geographies serve them well? The sales data may not be the only way to look at it as they sell directly to the wholesaler. This data could be fudged to benefit a certain brand or a wholesaler. Third party research and analytics firms help them to obtain and analyze this data. Third party providers provide data right down to the street level. This allows companies to analyze every single pocket of a city and arrive at a conclusion as to why they are successful or unsuccessful. The data shared with the CEO, will be for a certain geography and in a country like India – it is a lot! The amount of data that one gets is gigantic and it is easy to get lost under its weight. This is exactly why, knowing the right levers to pull, separates the leaders from managers.

Another great example is E-commerce firms. E-commerce companies which operate via websites and mobile apps have their own in house data analytics teams that mine this data and analyze each and every individual who has visited their site. They can understand the reasons for a consumer to shop or skip their platform with his online behaviour. This allows them to target them with better offers and deals in order to make them loyal customers.

When analytics is clubbed with Artificial Intelligence, it gives an analytics professional the opportunity to do all of this automatically, .i.e. without any human interference. For AI to work smoothly, it still requires a certain amount of human supervision, .i.e. for setting the objectives that the software has to meet.

Hence, it is extremely important for executives (especially the ones who are at the top of an organization) to understand data and its uses. Even if one is not an expert, expertise can be gained in a short period of time. BSE Institute Ltd (BIL) offers a 12 month Advance Management Program. It is designed specially for senior industry professionals. The course is focused on subjects like data analytics, corporate finance, blue ocean strategy, etc. that are used regularly by senior professionals of large companies. You can learn more about it here.

Data has now become an integral part of all our lives and there is no future that can be imagined without it. Until, we get a solution for automating data analytics, doing it manually, seems to be the only option. Hence, lets try to be the best that we can.