Last week was the Big Data London conference, billed as the largest analytics event in the UK. The theme for the week was a call to arms for UK businesses to ready themselves for the fourth industrial revolution. Britain was the birthplace of the first industrial revolution with advances to manufacturing processes from hand-made to machines. The new revolution is about data and the quest for UK businesses is how to become data-driven and benefit from the economic growth that is coming with this new world order.
Current data-driven climate in the UK
One major concern for the UK is what their role will be in a post Brexit Europe and also the impact of GDPR on businesses striving to become data-driven. Also, as is the case in all parts of the world, businesses in the UK are struggling to come to grip with the hype versus reality of big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning. Questions about best practices abound.
A recent survey by Positive Marketing, co-sponsored by Hortonworks, provided some interesting insights in UK Business attitudes and focus. Below are a couple of highlights:
- Focus on customer experience – In an interesting break with the past as the world’s manufacturing innovator, 58% of respondents indicated they use the data to drive better customer engagement and loyalty, only 13% said they are using the data to develop new digital products and services.
- Growing demand for cloud skills – As in every other region, the demand for new skills is a major challenge. Seventy two percent of respondents indicated a high demand for cloud skills, followed closely by Data Science (58%), Software Engineering (52%) and Data Prep (50%).
- Deployment of Hadoop Data Lakes out-ranked the rest – More than half (54%) of respondents indicated they are deploying Hadoop based data lakes, contrasted by only 22% deploying NoSQL technologies in their data initiatives.
- Global data management needed – Not surprising, as the deployment of data technologies expand, the need for better enterprise-class data management increases. Twenty nine percent of respondents indicated a need for deploying Enterprise Information Management suites while 58% indicated the need for Data Governance tools.
While the report focuses on trends in the UK, it is clear that the need to become data-driven is a global imperative. Companies have to transform their cultures and data architectures to adapt to new technologies, new types of data, and importantly, to new governance and compliance regulations. Read the full FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION report.