Leveraged efficiently, data can help an organization understand its customer needs, recruit the right talent, and define a strategy for the 21st century.

Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary

September 5, 2018

4 Min Read

Naysayers continue to speak in opposition to the theory that data is the oil of the 21st century. While I understand their various opinions, I must disagree. Look at it this way, artificial intelligence is an unstoppable vehicle, and data is its gasoline.

Like the Model-T at the turn of the last century, AI is the forefront of innovation. It connects nearly every person on Earth. And, like the Model-T, AI needs fuel to run. Massive amounts of data fuel AI and tell it everything it must do, and feed it the knowledge it needs to continue to evolve. Without data, AI is just a dormant idea. Without data it’s no better than a Model-T collecting dust.

This is not a slowing trend. It is predicted that over 125 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things by 2030.

Data and transformation of our culture

A cultural transformation is required to manage the ever-growing flow of data and move it from raw information to the knowledge and insight that can drive commercial results. Corporations must see data not simply as something to gather and store, but as their most valuable asset, one that can be turned kinetic to drive action, results, creating an efficient planet, new products, solutions, and ultimately revenue.

This shift is especially important for mature corporations. You must not allow yourselves to become sedentary just because today you are thriving. With the constant advancement in AI and data harvesting by competitors you can go from healthy to struggling in a matter of a few short years. If you are not a data driven company, you will not survive.

No matter the size of your operation, you still can capitalize on the the endless data that exists now, and will continue to accumulate exponentially into the unseen future.

Your data and the tech of industry giants

Leverage Google Analytics, the Facebook Pixel, and your internal POS, CRM, or CMS to constantly collect your own data. Then use the algorithms of Google and Facebook to target ads to your specific audience of customers who are already interested in your product or service. Engage with open API’s to gain access to cloud services and computing to maximize your options and possibilities.

The trends towards the creation of a chief data officer or chief digital officer is increasing. This could be incredibly beneficial; one person to head your data collection and analytics department and digital strategy would be a crucial component to the growth and long-term success of your company.

Build your human capital upon the data collected

The more and more you learn about your customers and the people researching you the better you will become at building your digital workforce. As you gain more insights as to what your customers look like and are interested you can better recruit the talent needed to satisfy your current customers and attract new customers. Find employees that think and act like your customers.

Look to AI assistants like IPSoft’s Amelia, Amazon’s Alexa, and SIRI to streamline processes and information gathering at your business.


Brainstorm on ways each technology and use of strategic data can be leveraged to reimagine the future.As you build your ideal employee base bring them in on planning conversations. You didn’t bring them on board just to punch a time clock. Leverage their minds for the betterment of the future organization as a whole.

Identify areas for improvement and opportunities in the digital economy

This is where the fuel that is data truly ignites the AI engine. You’ve collected data, discovered your ideal customer, recruited brilliant minds, and leveraged their ideas. You now must find your future. Every second of every day you should be collecting data. Every day you should be evaluating it by applying AI and the algorithms of tech giants to continually learn. Every day you will be presented with new opportunities to create, retract, or reallocate capital to truly grow your digital business and secure its future.

The oil of the 21st century is in endless supply, and you will never come to an end of its insights. Your ability to drill down and find the exact insights you want is within your control. With those insights you can create the future you want. You don’t need to rely on the innovation and ideas of others, you control the flow of data and you can fuel the AI you need. The digital future is yours for the taking.

Mark Minevich is the principal founder of Going Global Ventures, an influential public authority, author and visionary strategist in the fields of digitization and artificial intelligence. He is the digital Fellow and Advisor to CEO of IPsoft Inc., a global leader in digital labor. He also is a senior advisor on global innovation and technology of UN – UNOPS and charter member of the B20’s Digital Task Force as an expert in digitization, advanced autonomous systems. Mark is a senior fellow of the U.S. Council of Competitiveness. He is the Executive Chair for the AI Pioneers Forum.

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Guest Commentary

Guest Commentary

The InformationWeek community brings together IT practitioners and industry experts with IT advice, education, and opinions. We strive to highlight technology executives and subject matter experts and use their knowledge and experiences to help our audience of IT professionals in a meaningful way. We publish Guest Commentaries from IT practitioners, industry analysts, technology evangelists, and researchers in the field. We are focusing on four main topics: cloud computing; DevOps; data and analytics; and IT leadership and career development. We aim to offer objective, practical advice to our audience on those topics from people who have deep experience in these topics and know the ropes. Guest Commentaries must be vendor neutral. We don't publish articles that promote the writer's company or product.

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