A report released today by Dun & Bradstreet has shone a light on the way business leaders think about the role of data and how organisations are making the most of their data assets. According to “The Past, Present and Future of Data” report the amount of data being created is estimated to have expanded from two zettabytes in 2010 to 41 zettabytes in 2019. While the importance of data to organisations isn’t seen as new, the report provides an insight into how businesses are taking steps to unlock the power of data to help develop relationships, grow revenue, identify and mitigate risks and improve the services being offered to citizens.
The research outlined in the report, developed based on the experiences of over 500 businesses in the UK and United States, outlines that CEO’s are taking the leadership role in data-related matters within businesses. While leadership appears to not be seen as a challenge organisations are finding that not having the right technology in place to take advantage of data and issues around the quality and accuracy of data are holding organisations back. What is clear from the report is that data sits at the heart of organisations thinking with 73% of executives reporting that data is significant to developing their “overarching strategy”. The report also looks to the role of technologies in the next twelve months showing that 57% of business leaders are looking to use Machine Learning (26%) and AI (31%) with others focusing on blockchain and edge computing. Amongst the new challenges that the increase in the creation of real time data will bring organisations, the report shows that 57% of leaders are concerned around the ethics of using data and 47% are worried that the use of AI could lead to bias and discrimination. Interestingly of those organisations that are concerned 50% were UK based compared with 44% from the US, which could be an indication of the developed nature of the digital ethics debate and discussion in this country.
Many of the issues raised by the report are those being explored by the techUK Data Analytics and AI work programme. If you would be interested in being involved in this work please don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more.