Da Gama, Vespucci and Columbus, they and many other naval explorers and traders of the spice trade era were great navigators or in some cases they trusted and greatly relied on navigators. When starting on a new voyage to new and undiscovered lands, the maps they used were crudely drawn, very inaccurate and the farthest the map could take you was based on what some previous cartographer saw, maybe once.
As time moved on and more voyages were taken, the navigators steadily improved these maps, as new contributions and corrections were made. From the earliest maps, where the edge of the world was still a real concern, the quality of the information gradually improved until the maps became reliable enough for modern day use. *Until satellites took all of the guess work out of it, that is!
Where the famous explorers of the ocean had maps, we have data.
So, if one were to consider oneself an explorer of information, data would be your map and very likely your company’s data. Looking from the right angle, you will find some striking similarities between the challenges that the naval explorers faced and what we have to accomplish with information that is sometimes not so reliable.
This just means we all have our own version of a map, just in the form of rows, columns and blobs.
Decisions need to be made based on data. Every industry has their own sort of data, from retail and food stores that have customer data, to Web Developers that have statistics gathered on their sites.
So, if you manage a store well or build cool websites, is it because you have good data knowledge?
It is possible to build a server for machine learning without too much of a learning curve. Better yet, if you have a little more budget, you can rent a server that is ready to use for machine learning or AI space from several cloud-based providers. Almost sounds like we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to deriving value from machine learning and discovering trends in our data.
There is a snag though… You need to understand data science or have an expert in your company’s ranks to figure out what is actually going on.
Alternatively, you could make use of Business Intelligence to sort out the trending and analyses for you.
It is not as new and mysterious as AI and machine learning, but it does still come with a few of its own challenges.
Most BI tools need some level of skill and work very well if you have clean, quality data. But most data is just not clean. It’s an unfortunate truth we must live with and you can’t afford wasting time cleaning data when the month end report needs to be presented first thing tomorrow morning.
Beside these strategic concerns, you are still faced with the question of what you actually want to achieve using your data. Analyzing past trends is not going to do much for the company’s future. It is easy to miss the point when you have your head stuck in reports analysing it to death.
Like the aforementioned explorers, you need to use the old map to guide you until you have reached its limit and then go beyond this… Making discoveries that could make all the difference to your company, creating new revenue streams or initiating cost savings! Data should be used to discover great new horizons based on what you have learned.
To utilize your data in this way, proper analysis and thus a great navigator is needed. This is where Sintrex comes in – we “navigate”, enabling you to make the right decisions based on your data!
This article was published in partnership with Sintrex.