2018 Top Five Data & Analytics News Stories

Joshua Carter our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 12/20/2018 9:13 AM
2018 has seen Big Data & Analytics come to the forefront on the public’s attention like never before. A series of scandals, new laws, and technological developments have opened up fresh conversations about who has access to our data, and what privacy really means in the 21st Century. 

In a year with a lot of news, it’s no surprise that some of the biggest stories have had a major impact on the Data & Analytics marketplace. As 2018 comes to a close, we’ve pulled together five of the biggest stories that have not only had a huge impact this year, but will continue to have repercussions in 2019 and beyond. 

#5. Apple Become the World’s First $1 Trillion Company


At the beginning of August, Apple became the first company to be valued at $1 Trillion. A result of the launch of their premium iPhone X, they beat rivals Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet to the milestone. Initial fears that the death of Steve Jobs in 2011 would stall the company’s growth proved to be unfounded, highlighting that product and brand still play the largest role in consumer loyalty. 

This achievement has raised the bar for what a tech company can achieve, and expect to see numerous others attempting to reach this level over the next decade. For an idea of what they’ll have to achieve, however, take a look at the New York Times’ visualisation of what a $1 Trillion value really means. 

#4. Google Walk Out Over Women’s Rights


Following the #MeToo movement coming to precedence in 2017, businesses are now being properly scrutinised for their treatment of women. From the gender pay gap, to cases of sexual harassment, people are demanding transparency and accountability. Within Data & Analytics, the protests at Google were the leading example. 

Allegations surrounding the company’s handling of claims of sexual misconduct led to staff around the world walking out. Looking for several key changes, in particular the end of forced arbitration, employees highlighted Google’s key mission statement of ‘Don’t Be Evil’. 

Diversity and equality will continue to take centre stage in the years to come, with smaller businesses likely to face similar amounts of scrutiny. We’ll be releasing our report on the state of Diversity in Data & Analytics in early 2019, so come back soon to get your copy.  

#3. The Crypto Crash


Having peaked at $19,783.06 in December ’17, 2018 saw Bitcoin, and numerous other cryptocurrencies, finally crash. Whilst this had been predicted for a while, it looks as though it may take some time for any of the currencies to gather any new momentum and regain stability. 

Tough new restrictions in China, one of the biggest countries for crypto, as well as ICO Ad bans on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram will limit the number of new and returning buyers. Furthermore, initial moves into the mainstream, such as Barclay’s crypto trading project, appear to have stalled. In contrast to the past few years, the future of crypto is no longer looking so bright. 

#2. GDPR Comes Into Play


Anyone who works with any form of data couldn’t miss the introduction of GDPR, as it became enforced in April this year. A complete rewrite of the rules for data protection, we’re only beginning to see its true impact, as the first UK enforcement finally arrives. 

Many industries are already feeling a more specific impact, however. In particular, those working in Ad Tech have found the new regulations to be frustratingly limiting to their capabilities. Despite these issues, this is far from the end of GDPR, as both the US and India look to introduce similar regulations in the not-too-distant future. 

#1. THE CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA SCANDAL


The biggest Data & Analytics story of the year is, undoubtedly, the Cambridge Analytica scandal. A watershed moment in the public’s perception of how their data is used, concern grew from privacy issues to potential large-scale election rigging. The resulting chaos has seen an immense amount of pressure on Facebook and, in particular, Mark Zuckerberg, who has been called in front of numerous governments.

Whilst the outcomes don’t appear to have ultimately been too dire for Facebook as a business, the consequences of the scandal will continue to be felt for a long time to come.  Data breaches now regularly make headline news and the way we scrutinise how companies use our data is forever changed. 

If you’re looking to make a big impact in 2019 and beyond, we may have a role for you. Check out our latest roles or get in touch with one of our specialist consultants. 

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Weekly News Digest: 5th - 9th April 2021

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Not only does Data Visualisation allow us to learn more effectively, but we can then turn this understanding into much broader and deeper Business Intelligence.  To read more on the positives of Data Visualisation and how to translate this into meaningful Business Intelligence, click here.  ZDNet: The five Vs of customer data platforms According to ZDNet, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are the hottest marketing technology today, offering companies a way to capture, unify, activate, and analyse customer data. Research done in 2020 by Salesforce showed that CDPs were among the highest priority investments for CMOs in 2021. If you’re planning to invest in a CDP this year, what five critical things do you need to think about when developing a successful strategy? ZDNet tells all.  Velocity - Your systems need to manage a high volume of data, coming in at various speeds.Variety - Every system has a slightly different main identifier or "source of truth," and the goal is to have one. This starts with being able to provision a universal information model, or schema, which can organize all of the differently labelled data into a common taxonomy. Veracity - Companies must ensure they can provision a single, persistent profile for every customer or account.Volume - It has been theorized that, in 2020, 1.7MB of data was created every second for every person on Earth. If you want to use those interactions to form the basis of your digital engagement strategy, you have to store them somewhere. Value - Once you have a clean, unified set of scaled data – now’s the time to think about how to derive value from it.  To learn more, read the full article here. 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Combined data and reporting - Rather than focusing on one property (web or app) at a time, this platform allows marketers to track a customer’s journey more holistically. A focus on anonymised data - By crafting a unified user journey centred around machine learning to fill in any gaps, marketers and businesses have a way to get the information they need without diving into personal data issues.Predictive metrics - Using Machine Learning to predict future transactions is a game changer for the platform. These predictive metrics for e-commerce sites on Google properties allow for targeted ads to visitors who seem most likely to make a purchase within one week of visiting the site. Machine Learning driven insights - GA4 explains it “has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms.” Machine Learning-driven insights include details that elude human analysts.  To read Joshua’s full insights on GA4, click here.  We've loved seeing all the news from Data & Analytics in the past week, it’s a market full of exciting and dynamic opportunities. To learn more about our work in this space, get in touch with us at  info@harnham.com.   

How Can Your Career In Big Data Help You To Accelerate Change?

Data & Analytics is fast becoming a core business function across a range of different industries. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced by humans every day, and it has been predicted that 463 exabytes of data will be generated each day by humans as of 2025. That’s quite a lot of data for organisations to break down. Within Gartner’s top 10 Data & Analytics trends for 2021, there is a specific focus on using data to drive change. In fact, business leaders are beginning to understand the importance of using data and analytics to accelerate digital business initiatives. Instead of being a secondary focus — completed by a separate team — Data & Analytics is shifting to a core function. Yet, due to the complexities of data sets, business leaders could end up missing opportunities to benefit from the wealth of information they have at their fingertips. The opportunity to make such an impact across the discipline is increasingly appealing for Data Engineers and Architects. Here are a just a selection of the benefits that your role in accelerating organisational change could create. Noting the impact In a business world that has (particularly in recent times) experienced continued disruption, creating impact in your industry has never been more important. Leaders of organisations of a range of sizes are looking to data specialists to help them make that long-lasting impression. What is significant here is that organisations need to build-up and make use of their teams to better position them to gather, collate, present and share information – and it needs to be achieved seamlessly too. Business leaders, therefore, need to express the specific aim and objective they are using data for within the organisation and how it’s intended to relate to the broader overarching business plans. Building resilience Key learnings from the past year have taught senior leaders around the globe that being prepared for any potential future disruption is a critical part of an organisation’s strategic plans. Data Engineers play a core role here. Using data to build resilience, instead of just reducing resistance or limiting the challenges it presents, will ensure organisations are well-placed to move into a post-pandemic world that makes use of the abundance of data available to them. Big Data and pulling apart and understanding these large scale and complex data sets will offer a new angle with which to inform resilience-building processes.  Alignment matters An organisation’s ability to collect, organise, analyse and react to data will be the thing that sets them apart from their competitors, in what we expect to become an increasingly competitive market. Business leaders must ensure that their teams are part of the data-driven culture and mindset that an organisation adopts. As this data is used to inform how an organisation interacts with its consumers, operates its processes or reaches new markets, it is incredibly important to ensure that your Data Engineers (and citizen developers) are equipped and aligned with the organisation’s visions. Change is a continuous process, particularly for the business community. Yet, there are some changes that are unpredictable, disruptive and mean that many pre-prepared plans may face a quick exit from discussions. Data professionals have an opportunity to drive the need for change, brought about by the impacts of the pandemic, in a positive and forward-thinking way. In understanding impact, resilience and alignment, this can be truly achieved. Data is an incredibly important tool, so using this in the right way is absolutely critical. If you’re in the world of Data & Analytics and looking to take a step up or find the next member of your team, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.

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