Imagine this: you’re in a meeting, and your phone buzzes to indicate that you have an important call. You excuse yourself to take the call and a synthesized voice lets you know that a judge just handed down a surprise verdict in a patent infringement suit between two of your competitors. You’d accounted for several potential scenarios, but not the one that unfolded.
Your digital assistant reads every email you send and receive every document you read and write. It knows that you sent your assessment of the company’s vulnerability to your CEO. It determined there was a high probability that you would need to take action immediately and interrupted an important meeting to inform you the moment the news hit the wires.
This scenario may still sound like science fiction, but it’s getting closer, and the stakes are getting higher. The increasing amount of data from outside the company—from customers, reviewers, business partners and competitors—confronting over-extended executives makes deriving meaning from the onslaught more than a visionary goal.
Data analytics is evolving from advantage to necessity, said Erick Brethenoux, IBM’s Director of Business Analytics. With data analytics, this information is now “loud, readable and understandable,” he said. “If you’re not taking advantage of, or even taking into consideration, that voice on the outside, then you’re going to be out of the picture very quickly.”
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