The metaverse has the power to revolutionise how businesses operate, and with the amount of data that will be produced increasingly rapidly – set to reach 160 zettabytes by 2025, businesses will have even more data that will require processing and analysing. Bloomberg estimates that the metaverse market may grow to $800 billion by 2024.For some, the metaverse offers up a whole world of possibilities for expansion and growth – for others the whole concept is still abstract. Either way, organisations should use this new development as a good excuse ensure best practise is being implemented for their data processes.As with any emerging technology, the value to be gained will boil down to preparation and having a realistic understanding of what capabilities it will bring to your business. So, what strategies can organisations put in place to maximise their data science capabilities in this new, virtual world?Preparing for a whole new worldThis new blended physical and virtual world will continue to be powered by and generate swathes of data. By 2032, it is estimated that the metaverses alone will have increased our current data usage by 20 times.Accompanying the Metaverse will be a ‘dataverse’ made up of the personal universe of unique data that each person will carry around with them to make their virtual world function. This will have far reaching implications both for the processing of this data but also around the increased regulation that will be required. As a first port of call, organisations should ensure they have a cloud data platform that can collect and process internal and third-party data with a single point of access, to reduce the time it takes to search for insights. According to Technative the model must be able to process structured, semi-structured and unstructured data, while also breaking down data silos and unifying insights to learn from the metaverse and help predict future outcomes. Evaluating current capabilitiesMany will be regarding the Metaverse as a huge opportunity to harness real-time data to improve their offering and better inform decision making – whether that be in regard to customer or business insights – and will be assuming only positive consequences for their business strategies and overall competitiveness. 89 per cent of IT and technology industry leaders across the US and UK, consider that data generated by the metaverse will either be very important (55 per cent) or quite important (35 per cent) for their business operations. AI such as machine learning, will continue to be the key to facilitating these insights – providing efficient and automated ways to interpret real-time data and gain actionable results that can be translated into better informed decisions.Those already adept at using these technologies should not however assume that their current processes will hold up in this new world. The vastness and complexity of the data may require investment in more sophisticated machine learning algorithms and increased data capture processes, not to mention the talent to implement them.A time to tighten processes Currently, numerous organisations do not have strategies in place to maximise their data science capabilities, limiting their ability to truly understand the data they have about their company or their customers. The emergence of a new technology provides a unique opportunity to evaluate current data strategies and the usefulness of the data they gather.Data Science teams should spend this time reflecting on any of the current downfalls they are seeing in their strategy and implementing change based on these lessons so they can effectively prepare for the future. Increased regulation is likely to play a large part in the preparations which will need to be made. Looking at other recent innovations, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and the issues they faced when it came to regulation can give businesses a good idea around the potential future implications. 60 per cent of all IT and technology leaders planning to integrate business operations within the metaverse are worried about ‘data’ and ‘security’. These concerns demonstrate the need for unified metaverse standards and practices as well as a code of conduct for collecting different types of data. As a result, we can expect to see regulations being brought in swiftly around the metaverse to ensure businesses are complying and processing data in the appropriate way and are not harming the overall data ecosystem.An increasing demand for talentThe sheer scale of data sources and siloed data will throw up certain challenges and put a spotlight on those with data analysis and processing skillsets. The regulations that will follow are also likely to further stimulate the data and risk analytics job market. As automation rises, positions in data analysis are quickly morphing from a data collection exercise into much more business advisory role, which puts more emphasis on the ability of candidates to communicate the implications of the analysis and explain to business leaders how it might impact business decisions.And, as ever, despite increased automation, software and machine-based data processes can only do so much – there will always a certain degree of human intervention required.The implications on the job market will come several-fold. We are likely to see a vast increase in available roles centred around areas such as compliance and quality, analysis and interpretation, as well as overarching strategic positions that consider the implications of new technology and monitor how processes intersect.The metaverse provides endless possibilities for business operations but only if the correct infrastructures are in place. Organisations must not rest on their laurels and assume that these large swathes of data will automatically improve their insights and success. As ever, quality results rely on quality data, effective processes and evolving strategies. Looking for your next big role in shaping the metaverse or need to source exceptional talent? Take a look at our latest Digital Analytics jobs or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.