08/12/2016 08:14 GMT | Updated 09/12/2017 05:12 GMT

Business Transformation In A Changing World - It's All In The Data

There has been a great deal of discussion regarding the future of business in a post Brexit world and of course, changes in compliance and regulatory requirements will have a huge impact on companies of all sizes. Yet, technological advancement, over the years has continued on a path of evolution, despite various political and societal changes. Today, that change is opening up opportunities for investment in new technologies and infrastructures that will enable new economic growth and productivity for the British economy on the global competitive stage.

Yet, with technological advancements comes new challenges. One challenge today is the sheer volume and type of data available to us. Every second we create new data. We perform 40,000 search queries every second (on Google alone), which equates to 1.2 trillion searches per year. On a daily basis, the data with the most meaning is unstructured in the form of emails, social media, blogs, documents, images and video, and this provides useful and detailed insights into customer behaviour. Businesses are fast realising the fact that they have been outstripped of their capability with existing technology to understand its hidden meaning and insights. Whether it's Brexit, or another new challenge that awaits businesses, organisations that do not have access to the right technology to analyse and derive actionable insights from their data will be left behind.

However, cognitive computing technologies have the capability to harness unstructured data and provide intelligent insights based on consumer preferences. Let's consider IBM Watson for a moment. Watson is able to digest vast amounts of complex unstructured information and analyse this data to serve up different options based on segmentation. This ability to interpret and segment the data into sizeable chunks, evaluate all possible decisions using evidential support, and then draw a personalised conclusion with a high level of confidence is the value add for businesses. As regular change occurs on a macroeconomic level, businesses must be agile enough to reflect these within their own business environment to stay one step ahead of the competition.

So, what do UK businesses need to do to build a cognitive way of working into their organisational roadmap and ensure the needs of their future customers are being met?

Recognising the importance of unstructured data - businesses analyse and use structured data on a regular basis in the workplace. But unstructured data and certainly how to use it presents much more of a problem. Businesses must look past this and really begin to understand its value.

Partnering with the right technology - organisations need to ensure they have the right technology in place to be able to analyse data of all forms, whether that be from social media, blogs or other unstructured types of data. Without this technology and the preparation to embed this into company values as well as the infrastructure, an organisation is likely to be seen as less and less relevant within its industry and start to fall behind its competition.

Being agile in response to change - Political and economic change are issues that businesses need to respond to with agility on a continual basis. A cognitive way of working, through the application of technology where intelligent, human insight matters, will ensure that whatever the change, Brexit or otherwise, businesses can adapt as required.

Change is the only constant when it comes to doing business and the UK is no stranger to economic and political disruption. Technological advancements have always continued to evolve in an ever changing environment, adapting and shaping to the new world order. Brexit marks another shift for UK businesses. Just as the 2008 crash triggered change in the world, Brexit could just be the UK catalyst for change in this new age of data.