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Many of today’s hottest technologies come at us as buzzwords.
Artificial intelligence (AI). Machine learning (ML). Edge computing. Internet of Things (IoT). These and many other innovations promise business advancements. Business leaders have an idea what these technologies can offer—but not always why and how to deploy them to deliver maximum return on investment. This, coupled with the meteoric rise of software companies that often star in media articles, means the power of data is still underestimated. We don’t think enough about data.
In reality, data fuels all modern technologies. It’s behind every fashionable trend, solution, and buzzword. Without data, there are few insights and innovations. Without data, there is little profit to be made.
An Overlooked Currency
Domo’s Data Never Sleeps project estimates project that individuals create 1.7 megabytes of data every second . The amount of data that proceeds from enterprise businesses is much greater, and—thanks to technologies such as AI, ML, IoT, and edge computing—it’s exploding.
According to Rethink Data, a report commissioned by Seagate and conducted by the research firm IDC, in 2021 alone, the volume of enterprise data grew at an average annual rate of 42%. IDC expects the amount of data around the globe to reach 179 zettabytes by 2025.
When smartly deployed, data can be a game-changing business currency—in some cases literally, given the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchains. As Google’s Director of Research Peter Norvig famously sums it up, “We don’t have better algorithms. We just have more data.” And yet, as the enabler of business value, data is too often overlooked.
Does it matter that more than two thirds of enterprise data is going unused?
While it’s difficult to put a dollar amount on it, a lack of a data strategy can be detrimental to any business. Take customer-facing interactions for example. Every piece of data is an insight into customers, their preferences, and their needs. If you were to lose two thirds of the data for a specific customer, you’d only have part of their story. As such, you’d only be able to deliver part of the solution they need.
Ultimately, properly stored and managed data can help deliver optimal customer service. It can get autonomous cars on the road quicker. It can help factories become more productive. And it can help to cut costs. That’s why data monetization should be front and center for any C-suite.
From Buzzwords to Data Investment
Hard drive storage capacity has improved 20,000 times in the past 50 years, outpacing other technological innovations. The right data storage, both in flight and at rest, can help businesses take advantage of the capital that’s found in data.
Next time you as a business leader find yourself using the latest buzzword, take the time to reflect. Think about the trend and technology that’s behind it—the data that powers it. Make a decision to invest in that data. Give that data a purpose. It will pay you in insights and business value over many years to come.