The Data Scientist - the WPC Healthcare Blog

The Great Data Awakening


By Damian Mingle

For the last few decades IT systems have been built the exact same way –separate the people who ran the business from the people who managed the infrastructure. In the new data economy, with innovative technologies and analytic techniques, this highly ineffectual separation of critical skills is no longer necessary. For the first time, organizations can directly connect business decision makers to the data. This simple step alters data from being “something to be managed” into “something to be valued.”

During this great data awakening, organizations face an unambiguous choice:

  1. Carry on building data silos and piece together disparate information
  2. Consolidate your data and extract answers

Data science does not really see this as a choice. In fact, the siloed approach is flawed when you consider, (a) the opportunity cost of not making maximum use of all available data to help a business flourish, and (b) the resource and time costs of continuing down the same path with out-of-date processes.

Instead reflect on the tangible benefits of data products:

Opportunity Costs: Data Science is a developing field, and as such, opportunity costs arise when a competitor implements and produces value from data earlier than you. Failure to understand and justify changing customer demands will unavoidably drive customers away from your current offerings. When competitors are able to effectively leverage Data Science to gain insights, they can drive differentiated customer value propositions and lead their industries as a result.

Enriched Processes: An interconnected world, such as exists today, yields huge amounts of data. Data Science can be used to transform data into understanding that assists in improving existing processes. Operating costs can be driven down dramatically by successfully incorporating the multipart interrelationships in data like never before in our history. This renders enhanced quality assurance, greater product yield and more effective operations.

Damian Mingle is the Director of Data Science for WPC.