Data is the New Black

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FountainBlue’s November 12 VIP Roundtable was on the topic of ‘Data Is the New Black’, with opening remarks by Coupa Software. As usual, our group of executives in attendance were seasoned with their experience, varied with their background, and thought-provoking with their comments. Our lively discussion was peppered with rich insights, varying responses, and diverse approaches toward the mining, management, adaptation and usage of data. Below is a compilation of thoughts and best practices.The amount of available data is overwhelming, and gathering more data is not the key challenge. The challenge instead is to ensure that the data is:

  • vetted to be correct, complete and consistent
  • collected and managed in a way which serves the product/project/corporate/customer objectives
  • filtered efficiently, especially when there’s an urgent need to have real-time data
  • leveraged to gain insights and actions which are relevant and useful
  • managed in a way which is ethical and sustainable

But with challenges come opportunities. Some of the questions raised in the conversation are listed below.

  • How do you efficiently integrate data sets to best inform and drive decisions and outcomes?
  • How do you ensure the integrity of the data, and the causality of the data?
  • How do you measure input and impact real-time?
  • How do you ensure that the connections/correlations between data are both intelligent and important?
  • How do you integrate historical data to plan for today and project for tomorrow?
  • How can you make decisions with minimal data?
  • How can you extend findings from one scenario/industry/product/customer to others?
  • How do you protect the privacy and security of customers while providing layered access to various stakeholders?

Specific examples of use cases around data include the below:

  • databases of bloodwork to document rare diseases
  • data on image insights
  • algorithms to modify facial features so we can track people while respecting privacy
  • supply chain predictions based on algorithms of past and anticipated future demand
  • leverage data to make the invisible visible so that you can gain insights and better manage health and disease

The conversation was eye-opening as well as inspirational. Clearly data is at the heart of how we as leaders, as organizations, as human beings will grow and thrive. The challenge is WHO will do WHAT to better serve us ALL with data?


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