The rules of business are constantly being rewritten as one transformative technology after the next sweeps through the ecosystem. Companies that exploit opportunities presented by data analytics will be well-placed to engage, compete and grow.
Digital transformation is about using digital tools and technology to overhaul existing practices - but it's also about fostering a data culture and integrating digital technology across roles and departments.
According to research carried out by tech media giant IDG, 48% of IT decision-makers interviewed in its Digital Business Survey have already started to implement a digital-first approach to business processes, operation and customer engagement.
And this research suggests it’s paying dividends - more than a third of tech decision-makers surveyed (35%) said that their organisation has experienced revenue growth due to digital business.
Some 20% of respondents say that their organisation is piloting new initiatives for AI and machine learning, and 21% already have AI or machine learning in use, according to IDG.
The presence of global technology giants such as Apple and Google, alongside start-ups such as Intercom, has been propelling 10.4% growth in Ireland’s data economy each year, according to Digital Realty’s data economy report – twice that of the wider economy and nearly double that of the UK’s data economy.
However, the report estimates that there is €9.1bn of untapped potential in the Irish digital economy which could be unleashed if there was a greater investment in data and more skilled workers.
While the digital transformation process requires investment, commitment, and buy-in from staff, it has proven crucial to delivering increased efficiency, improved customer experience, greater profits and a competitive advantage for those companies who embrace innovative new technologies.
One case in point is the National Gallery in London’s Trafalgar Square which can count some of the world's best-loved paintings among its 2,300-strong collection - and an impressive tally of 5.7 million visitors in 2018 alone.
Not only does the gallery collect artworks, but it also collects data. In August 2018, Belfast-based data analytics firm Analytics Engines partnered with the gallery to unify the information it collects into a single reporting methodology and integrate digital technology across the organisation.
The resulting solution – ‘Perspective’ – is a platform that allows stakeholders to make data-driven strategic decisions by harnessing and examining data from a broad sweep of courses.
According to Analytics Engines COO Dr. Scott Fischaber: “Because we were able to draw on a bank of specific IP and focus on rapid application deployments, our engineering team rolled out Perspective to the gallery just four months after the contract start date and the gallery has reported a swift adoption from users.”
The roll-out of ‘Perspective’ has resulted in improved decision-making processes, optimisation of work-flows, deeper relationships with stakeholders and augmented visitor experiences. The gallery is now looking at ways to integrate machine learning and forecasting models with its visitor data.
Analytics Engines is now working with the gallery to look not only at internal data sources but also investigate the impact of external data sources such as weather and local events.
The company is also currently implementing a data analytics solution for trade finance analysts Coriolis Technologies. In this instance, it is taking ingesting up to 20 billion data points from the United Nations Comtrade Database and creating an intuitive visualisation capability ensuring end-users can isolate specific data for in-depth analysis.
The CEO of Coriolis Technologies Rebecca Harding – in addition to over 20 others - will be speaking at this month’s Big Data Belfast, an event which Analytics Engines has organised for the past seven years.
The one-day technology and business event at the ICC Belfast on Thursday, October 24 will showcase the very best innovation and data use case studies, with inspirational thought leaders from companies such as DELL, GitHub, SpotX, SmashFly, Reach plc and STATSports. Following on from a major jobs’ announcement involving the creation of 600 new posts across the Ireland of Ireland, the conference this year has EY on board as headline sponsor.
“The one-day Big Data conference presents a valuable opportunity for attendees to explore trends and opportunities emerging in business analytics, digital transformation, fintech, cybersecurity, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning,” says Analytics Engines MD Dr Aislinn Rice.
The conference will deliver a wealth of speakers and workshops delving into everything from AI and ML to fintech, digital transformation, and business analytics, with AI experts such as Paul Brook from sponsors Dell EMC and machine learning engineer Dr. Clair Sullivan from GitHub on the line-up.
Delegates will also hear from Zscaler’s Americas chief information security officer Bil Harmer, who pioneered the processes for security and privacy compliance used by Cloud vendors today, and SpotX chief scientist Neal Richter who has published more than 15 academic papers in machine learning in artificial intelligence.
For agenda, tickets and speaker information log on to www.bigdatabelfast.com