At Mercy or Empowered?: Data Driven Decisions

Creating business success through collaboration of Machine and Human Intelligence

At Mercy or Empowered- (1)Today Big Data is a $122 Billion Industry, however, as per a PwC report almost 52% of the top executives acknowledge that they did discount data at many points. Giving a perspective, ignoring data can make drugs more unsafe, can negatively impact customer relations and critically impact a business’s topline. Despite this knowledge, many businesses still rely only on human intelligence or judgements, ignoring data in critical ways and hence, inhibiting the growth of their organisations. On the other spectrum are the Data loyalist organisations, who, cannot take any decision without what the numbers are predicting or to be precise what the crystal ball called machine intelligence says. Considering that ~ 70% of the Big Data investments have been dismal on returns, makes reliance  only on Machine Intelligence quite mis-leading.

Under this backdrop the pertinent question facing organisations is which intelligence to rely on Machine or Human?

Advantages of Data driven decisions

Big Data gave birth to a completely new industry. Earlier considered a support function it has slowly transformed into a lead function. As the demand for Big Data analytics emerged, so did the value of data driven decisions leading to creating a whole new industry. Google’s acquisition of ITA software – which gathers flight price data from most major carriers – in 2011 only verifies this . Another interesting alliance was strategic partnership of IBM with twitter to analyse the combined data through public and business sources and to sell it to corporate clients. All these events led to lots of Big Data start ups in recent times and have also attracted many investors.

Big data has had tremendous impact across domains and particularly the most significant benefit has been that it has revolutionised even the old school industry. Whether it has been in case of Capital One Card in US market which from a uniform product pricing model transformed into custom tailored products or Rolls Royce whose 70% of revenue comes from service or even more revolutionary a Walmart who pioneered the retail industry by recording every product as a data. Regardless of the domain or size of an organisation big data improves business performance.  Although this sounds good ,there, on the contrary the facts show that majority of data driven projects not successful.

Is it fine then to only take data driven decision or rely on Machine Intelligence?

All is not as hunky dory about data analytics or machine intelligence. Agreed that Big Data analytics is here to change the world and organisations who are not making data driven decisions are for sure going to be out of business. However, the element of ‘dynamic’ in dynamic nature of data does involve human beings and hence, needs human intervention to really read through the phenomenon. Relying upon big data only increases the chances of missing something, while giving us the illusion that we know it all. Nokia is a classic example where the business came tumbling down by relying  purely on big data based decisions …and Nokia is just one such example.

Hence, what this points towards is that while investing in big data is easy there  using it is tough.

So then, what is the future?

Big Data for sure has more advantages than disadvantages. So where is the gap?

It is in the way we use Big Data .

We have reached a point where synthesis of Big Data with human intervention is the key to success.  Only ~ 27% of the big data projects are profitable.

They are using big data successfully by relying on data driven decisions, which is based on quantifying dynamic environments with human interventions. These organisations do take into consideration the constant emerging human dynamics that are still to take place. This context part of data inference does need human intelligence.

Hence, it is manadatory for users of data to understand the business and the cultural context while approaching any data driven conclusions. Data Scientists need to understand the humans and events within the ecosystems from where the data is collected. The common sense always lies with the humans hence, the way to future is a collaborative effort between the machine and human intelligence. Only then will data lead to empowered data driven decisions.

At AnalytixLabs our pedagogy is designed keeping all these practical real life issues in perspective. Our courses are wholistic in nature and empower tomorrow’s manager to take and help organisations take empowered data driven decisions.

To know more about AnalytixLabs logon to or call us at +91 95-55-219007or visit us ( !


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