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Why data is still not quite the new oil
June 6, 2019 Blog


by CK Tan, Director, Industry Solutions, Asia Pacific, Qlik

Ever since the quote “Data is the new oil” was first cited by Clive Humby, UK Mathematician in 2006, Business Intelligence itself has gone through a few evolutions. While it seems evident from data-driven companies like Netflix, Google and Spotify that data is the natural resource that will power modern enterprises in this digital economy, many companies still struggle to turn that data into profit. Why is this so?

Drill, Extract and Refine

Unlike crude oil, raw data is infinite and exists everywhere, from the system-of-record, web traffic data to IoT devices such as wearables and sensors installed in production lines. This is giving rise to increasing analytics requirements and users are demanding real-time data to make critical decisions faster. Qlik’s customer, Ottawa Paramedic Service in Canada makes use of a real-time dashboard to make changes on the fly by looking at coverage maps and predicting response capacity. Hospitals can now see live how many ambulances are coming in if there are any offload delays, as well as the status of inbound patients. This also changes how data needs to be moved (from source systems), stored, processed and analysed, similar to how crude oil is drilled, extracted and brought to a refinery. From a technology standpoint, organisations need to invest in a consistent data strategy, coupled with modern data integration and management platform to efficiently process high volumes of fast-moving data from many sources.

Distribute and Sell

Every drop of crude oil that is extracted from the ground gets used, but only 0.5% of all accessible data is analysed and used according to IDC. It is not because data is any less valuable but there are still currently issues on how it is distributed and made available to users.

Even though most organisations today have moved to a user-driven BI environment to empower the business to be more agile and respond to change faster, they still struggle with driving wide-spread adoption across the organisation.

One key factor is poor enterprise-wide data literacy, as revealed in a recent study by Qlik, only 24% of business decision makers surveyed are fully confident in their ability to work with data. AI and machine learning can play a crucial role in assisting users in making sense of their data by finding and highlighting new insights for users and automates the insights creation process.

Together with a program to foster a data literate culture inside the organisation through user education and communication about data value, enterprises can accelerate their digital transformation journey. For example, Lloyds of London, the world’s leading insurance provider, recently won Qlik’s Global Transformation Award for their strong emphasis on data literacy as part of its global data transformation strategy, a strategic priority for empowering people across the organisation.

Data is the foundation of the new economy

Have no doubt about it. Despite all these underlying challenges, data is the natural resource for today’s modern enterprise to stay ahead of the competition in this fast-moving and ever-changing economy. Qlik provides end-to-end capabilities from raw data to sharing of insights, allowing organisations to rapidly drive transformation. Among modern BI vendors, only Qlik covers the complete data and analytics journey – from integrating raw data to uncovering and sharing insights. Many organisations are stockpiling it in mass quantities but having the resource alone doesn’t do anything. Organisations need the ability to integrate, organise, and make data available. This includes providing the tools to explore it, transform it into insights, and offer those insights to the right people at the right time to make informed decisions.