Data is NOT the new currency !

We are starting this week with the news of Sears filing for Bankruptcy. Once a retail icon, Sears has been in a downward spiral for some time now so this does not come as a surprise. It was more a question of “When” rather than “Whether”.

Ever since the Data Science hype began (much of which is very well deserved hype), I keep on hearing terms like “Data is the new currency” or ” “Data is everything” and I have heard these so many times that every time I hear these terms now, I feel like throwing-up.

mustapha-mekhatria

Now coming back to Sears and retail, can you guesstimate the amount of data Sears network of stores generate on a daily basis? Or the gigantic pool of data “Toys R US” generated on a daily basis? And many other retailers who went bust generated? These companies generated tons and tons of data-and if data is the new currency, they were floating in that currency – yet they had to file for bankruptcy!

The Digital age talent pool is your new currency-your new competitive edge! 

Your company’s talent pool is the new currency and the most important asset. You may have the best in class systems and all the data in the world but unless you have a talent pool that can innovate and disrupt leveraging the infrastructure you provide them, your vast lakes of data are pretty useless.

Corporations are not doing enough to develop talent pool for the digital age

As an example, as you can see from the info graphic below, 44% of Europeans skill lack basic digital skills (Source: Digital SKills EU Facebook page). Even some of the top economies don’t have the level of digital skills that they are going to need to sustain and be competitive in the digital age. The same goes for North America as well.

EU

Talent and Technology go hand in hand

No best in class “Advanced Analytics” tool or algorithm can deliver results unless you have a talent pool that knows how these tools can be leveraged and makes the best use of these resources. My belief is that more investment needs to go into hiring and training the right talent, rather than into buying tools and technologies. Remember, without the right talent in place, you don’t even know if the tools that you are buying are the right tools.

So cut through the hype and build your talent pool first. A skilled talent pool is the new currency!

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