The inevitable data confluence

As Computational Data Science evolves, it is starting to move towards a new trend; that of Confluence

The inevitable data confluence - CIO&Leader

This is the third viewpoint in this series on data and its idiosyncrasies. We have looked at qualitative data and its pervasiveness. We will now look at what we may have and what we may not have looked at during the pandemic. The basic premise is quite simple: Every one of us is just a data point. Smart companies already know that you like pricey brands, vote for “X” party, love spice in your food, and that you have 2 dogs.

Data Sciences now has a new sub-discipline: that of Computational Data Science. It deals only in data analysis that requires large computation power. It simply ignores what a simple spreadsheet can do. And to get the record straight; the science is not new; only its application is. To put things in context: data is being generated; every single moment; IoT, Buying Behaviour, Customer Service, Games, Security, Privacy…. Today’s IT departments are flooded with data; And if not captured, it will pass by. And as this science evolves, it is starting to move towards a new trend; that of Confluence.

This started with what Gartner calls, “It’s all about me!” Increasingly, as individuals, we carry a whole host of devices. And we juggle between them, and the data on them. There are indeed software solutions around that; Cloud being one of them. But a vast majority needs a hardware solution; the touch-and-feel remains important. The real point is that data is being generated and shared. And not in a negative manner; it may be doing some good too.

What this means for IT teams is that “data is being generated’; is it getting lost? Does it mean anything? The answer to all these questions is the same: Yes. We are sitting on a mountain of information; on data, that is converging into an individual. Into an understanding of what really matters.

This trend is very clearly emerging in hardware. After years of attempts at making the mobile, notepad, and the laptop approach each other, the industry is now working towards hardware confluence. There is already a device on the market, that works like a phone; can be slotted into a larger screen to become a notepad; and be plugged into a slot to work as a hard disk for a desktop/laptop experience. Amazing as it sounds, it is not the end. It is the software that will drive the confluence.

But the science is not there yet. There is just an inkling of where that data might lead to. So, should IT teams even bother? Why do some teams actually bother? The reason to bother is that this confluence provides a better understanding of what the end-customer will pay for. The truth is, that it is where it all converges.

So, it would be a shame if this data is not captured even while not knowing what the output will be. One certainly does not want to get down in time and regret not capturing it. Especially, given that storage costs are very low.

The author managed large IT organizations for global players like MasterCard and Reliance, as well as lean IT organizations for startups, with experience in financial and retail technologies

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