//Our research consistently shows that the more our world goes digital, the more important face-to-face interaction becomes.//
Gold in the Data
In this new information era, words still have their place. But rich seams of gold are now in the data. The world is creating 2.5 exabytes of data each day: from photos and video uploaded to social media posts, purchase transaction records, mobile phone data, countless sensors on machinery of all kinds, and myriad other sources*. We need 2.5 million new high spec home computers to store the data from the internet of humans and things. Every day.
Increasingly powerful analytics software is the essential equipment for goldminers in the age of big data. It is no longer sufficient simply to use such tools to describe what the data might be saying. Even predictive analytics, making probability-driven forecasts about what may happen in the future is giving way to prescriptive analytics – recommendations about what possible actions to take based on the data and the context. This is the new frontier and where successful companies will live.
Enterprises of all kinds now emit and collect data as part of their digital existence and see information and data services as part of their long term competitive differentiation. A whole new class of acquirer, prepared to pay great multiples, is emerging for young, tech-infused companies. An agrochemical company buys a business selling precise and detailed data to farmers about climate and other conditions affecting crop yields; a software giant buys the world’s leading weather forecasting company.
In the big data world, no single company can possibly house or control everything its analytics engines might need and the field in all sectors is ripe with activity as machines interact in the new era. But it is essential for companies in the industry to have a data and analytics strategy and the platforms to deliver it in order to secure market leadership.
Face to Face
Our research consistently shows that the more our world goes digital, the more important face-to-face interaction becomes. Trade shows, conferences, training: events small and large that bring professionals together still matter and are highly valued. Companies pay for their people to attend, they sponsor events, and more than ever they are spending on staging their own events as a key way to reach customers and prospects and provide strong Brand experiences. In the world of professional training, in-person courses remain stubbornly popular.
Digital communities and online learning now offer the possibility of bridging the physical and the virtual into a 365-day experience. The acceleration of virtual reality technology points to further transformation, extending and complementing face-to-face engagement but without replacing it.
Above all, the demands of clients and users are evolving rapidly. A generation weaned on the abundance and the freedom of modern consumer digital riches is bringing those expectations to the workplace. They want the business environment to be just as open. To succeed, information businesses need to serve users on any device, at any time. They have to facilitate sharing and collaboration. They must welcome users contributing new content to their platforms and allow them to apply their tools of choice to bring insights to the data. They have to look outward, harnessing new ideas and innovation from all sides. They need to adapt to the new ways human beings interact with machines, how machines communicate with each other, and how computers start to learn and reason like humans.
Those who master convergence, embrace data, achieve focused scale, deal with new competition, and keep up with ever faster cycles of innovation and changing expectations, will be the ones to succeed in an information industry at the tipping point.
This section represents the views of Outsell, Inc. and is contributed by the company’s Co-Founder and CEO Anthea Stratigos. Visit Outsell, Inc. to find out more about its insights and services.