What was once unknowable can now be quickly discovered with a few queries.
NB: This is an article from McKinsey
Decision makers no longer have to rely on gut instinct; today they have more extensive and precise evidence at their fingertips.
New sources of data, fed into systems powered by machine learning and AI, are at the heart of this transformation. The information flowing through the physical world and the global economy is staggering in scope. It comes from thousands of sources: sensors, satellite imagery, web traffic, digital apps, videos, and credit card transactions, just to name a few.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and stay up to date
These types of data can transform decision making. In the past, a packaged food company, for example, might have relied on surveys and focus groups to develop new products. Now it can turn to sources like social media, transaction data, search data, and foot traffic—all of which might reveal that Americans have developed a taste for Korean barbecue, and that’s where the company should concentrate.
The potential is being borne out every day—not only in the business world but also in the realm of public health and safety, where government agencies and epidemiologists have relied on data to determine what drives the spread of COVID-19 and how to reopen economies safely.
But the sheer abundance of information and a lack of familiarity with next-generation analytics tools can be overwhelming for most organizations. That’s why the McKinsey Global Institute invited CEOs from CrowdAI, SafeGraph, Measurable AI, and Orbital Insight – four start-ups that are expanding the boundaries of data and AI innovation – to discuss what kinds of new insights are possible and how the landscape is changing. Their wide-ranging discussion yielded five important takeaways.
New forms of data are giving organizations unprecedented speed and transparency
When a CEO wants an answer to a complex question, a team might be able to get it in a couple of months—but that may not be good enough in a world where competition is accelerating. One of the biggest advantages of an automated, data-driven AI system is the ability to answer strategic questions quickly. “We want to take that down to an hour or so when it’s about something going on in the physical world,” says Orbital Insight founder James Crawford.