Analytics as a discipline, using information gathered and stored in a digital format, has increased in scope enormously over recent years and will continue to play an ever greater role in all aspects of business life in the years to come. In this series of articles we will look at the impact of big data and analytics on business, competitiveness and career development.
Next time you're in your local pharmacy, take a detour to the men's shaving aisle. When you get there, scan the shelves in front of you. You'll see high-gloss packaging, lots of "Fusion" and "Turbo" and "Mach" brands. It's almost like you're in the Formula 1 pit lane, isn't it? The choice seems abundant.
So what does this tell us? Well, while the census is an incredibly valuable tool for the government, providing a ten-year view of population data only paints part of the picture. If the government wants to be able to make smarter and more informed policy decisions, rather than retrospective analysis, it will need to be able to monitor demographic data in much more frequent intervals.
The amount of data in the world is doubling every two years according to IDC. Social media, multi-media and location-based services are all contributing to the data explosion, continuously generating information about what and where people buy, their personal preferences and the brands and products they recommend to their friends.