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Accelerating the data journey

Data drives decisions – Let’s speed up the journey.

Data drives decisions. Accessing the right data at the right time unlocks innovation. And there’s the rub. Finding the right data in the right format quickly is not easy.

Ninety percent of the world’s data was created in the last two years alone. The volume of data is doubling every two years and, by 2020, it’s projected to reach 44 trillion gigabytes.
That’s a lot of data to sift through, especially if you are looking for specific, niche information to understand and uncover a unique insight to transform your business. It really is the proverbial needle in a haystack! And that means it takes valuable time and resource.
Indeed, we recently asked a panel of elite data scientists how true they consider the 80:20 data paradigm – where 80% of time is devoted to sourcing the data and getting it into a useable format and 20% of time is used on analysing it to generate insights. The majority (82%) either agreed or saw the situation as much worse.

The bug bears are numerous – incomplete metadata; data in proprietary formats that need to be converted; overly large and cumbersome data sets that are difficult to manage; unreliable or dirty data sets; license issues. The list goes on and on.

Some would-be insights rely on a very specific element of data – perhaps one year of a data set that spans 20 years – but to access that data you have to commit to the entire data set and the related cost and resource required to pull out the element you require.

These frustrations go counter to the huge excitement about the potential offered by the data revolution. That potential can only be realised if data can be discovered easily, accessed seamlessly and then used effortlessly.

Time is money and managing your data should be as easy as managing your music, photo and video libraries online using the likes of Spotify, Netflix or Amazon. Speeding up the time it takes to locate and unlock specific data sets would free up time to focus on unlocking innovative, valuable insights to inform strategic decisions.

It is time the industry woke up to the practical needs of those at the front-end of this dynamic industry. Data owners need to ensure the quality of their data and ensure it ‘does what it says on the tin’. There needs to be increased flexibility in options for buying data and more ability for data scientists to discover and access just the ‘slice’ of data they need. Let’s simplify the process.

It makes sense to invest resources on generating the insights that inform decisions rather than on searching for the relevant data in the first place. If barriers to accessing that data are broken down the opportunities are endless – and, crucially, likely to be achieved more quickly.

We are delighted to be working with our Partner, Brainnwave, on their new product, Geo Spatial Web Services. Brainnwave’s new product provides efficient access to our geospatial data providing users with the ability to analyse the data and generate strategic insights to aid their business.

Stefan Wells – Head of Partners – Ordnance Survey

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