Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

Quicktake: why authenticating data sources is 'essential' for corporate success

Nearly 66% of all organisations in Mena are investing in big data and analytics in 2019, says SAP

Totte Harinen, a senior data scientist at Uber, says right data is key to accurate analysis. Leslie Pableo / The National 
Totte Harinen, a senior data scientist at Uber, says right data is key to accurate analysis. Leslie Pableo / The National 

Differentiating "good" data out of the vast amount of big data sets that hold enormous amounts of critical information is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry.

Companies are increasingly adopting innovative applications to segregate good data, which comes from reliable and authentic sources, to understand consumer behaviour and preferences to take strategic business decisions and offer customised services.

Here, The National takes a look at what good data is all about.

How do businesses put a dollar value on data?

Big data and analytics is predicted to generate nearly $3.2 billion (Dh11.8bn) in revenue annually in the Middle East and Africa region by 2020, nearly 45 per cent more than the value generated in 2017, according to the researcher International Data Corporation.

According to Totte Harinen, senior data scientist at ride-hailing firm Uber in Europe, Middle East and Africa, the collection and application of good data "is everything ... it is the key”.

“Good data is by far the most important thing. You can have the most amazing methods and algorithms on this earth, but if you don’t have the right or good data it is of no use,” Mr Harinen, who is working with internal stakeholders at Uber to validate the authenticity of data required for any analysis, told The National.

Uber is relying heavily on data-driven decisions such as predicting demand during heavy traffic scenarios and offering better deals to loyal customers.

Why is good data important?

Experts say data governance will become one of the defining themes of the technology industry in the next five years.

“The 20th century saw scores of situations where data exploited some of the darkest moments in modern history. Now, stakes are high … safeguarding how large data sets are used in the long run is very critical,” Sam Blatteis, chief executive of The Mena Catalysts, which advises technology companies on policy and government affairs in the region, told The National.

The Mena Catalysts is using big data and analytics while catering to its regional clients by presenting data-driven reports, predictions and market trends analysis.

What separates good data from bad data?

About two-third of all Mena organisations are investing in big data and analytics in 2019, according to a new report from Oxford Economics and German tech giant SAP.

Experts say there are many shopping "bots", generating huge amount of illegitimate data, and any exchange of information with them can cause irreparable damage. “Most of the time, we are dealing with sensitive data that is related to customers’ confidential information and market trends," said Ulugbek Yuldashev, founder and chief executive of online shopping platform awok.com.

Awok.com has a team of dedicated data specialists in the UAE to ascertain the legitimacy of any data before using it.

"It is essential to quickly differentiate between good and bad data,” added Mr Yuldashev

Updated: April 21, 2019 03:28 PM

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