By @SimonCocking  Review of Data Strategy. How to Profit from a World of Big Data, Analytics and the Internet of Things Bernard Marr. Available from KoganPage here.

Less than 0.5 percent of all data is currently analysed and used. However, business leaders and managers cannot afford to be unconcerned or skeptical about data. Data is revolutionizing the way we work and it is the companies that view data as a strategic asset that will survive and thrive. Bernard Marr’Data Strategy is a must-have guide to creating a robust data strategy. Explaining how to identify your strategic data needs, what methods to use to collect the data and, most importantly, how to translate your data into organizational insights for improved business decision-making and performance, this is essential reading for anyone aiming to leverage the value of their business data and gain competitive advantage.

Some books have great titles but are dull reads, others less than thrilling titles but are actually really interesting and insightful. This book, thankfully, falls into the latter category. This is a readable, insightful analysis of how smart data strategies can really help your business. It is also written in an accessible informative way, not just for the uber data geeks, but rather for the wider decision makers who can benefit from data-driven insights to help their companies grow.

There are useful case studies from the experiences of Rolls Royce, Wallmart and Amazon among others. All bluechip companies, that have used data based learning to define their services and even reposition themselves and what they offer. Rolls Royce for example discovered additional, profitable revenue streams from data informed services above and beyond merely  just selling airplane engines to customers. Data insights have also helped to improve the identification of fraudulent form filling, based on time spent answering different questions.

While reading the book at times it did evoke concerns of a balance between ‘good’ benefits from learning from the data versus big brother elements of how closely our lives can now be tracked. Naturally though, as always, the data and the insights it can bring us can be used for both good and otherwise. With that proviso, this is a really useful book, with a great review of insights that leading edge companies are already extracting, and using to their own competitive advantage. The challenge is for everyone is to do so too, or be left behind.

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