Rapidly growing data sets and potential that many companies have not exploited for themselves yet

13. September 2019

In the digital age, we are now leaving traces in (almost) every online activity, for example, a like of a Facebook post, the booking of a weekend trip on a hotel portal or the fast shopping pair of sneakers - or to put it more precisely, almost unimaginable amounts of data. This immensely important potential of digitalization has been insufficiently exploited by many German companies so far.

How data sets are created in the digital age

The advancing digitalization in all areas of life, produces data sets that are difficult to grasp with the usual horizon for quantitative terms. In the year 2018, 33 Zettabyte (a number with 21 zeros) of data were generated worldwide - with a strong upward trend. This explosive increase can be explained in several ways. On the one hand, data-based technologies and industry 4.0 are driving up inventories and on the other, every click on the internet generates data. More and more people have reliable access to the internet and access it permanently via smartphones, which favours this trend. This data is now stored centrally by many operators and hosts and available for analyses. 

The following cases illustrate that the correct handling of these data records holds immense potential for success. Through the critical evaluation of data, online retailers can predict when which item is most in demand and thus save on incorrect orders and storage capacity. Costs for the production of superfluous goods can also be reduced, which has a direct positive impact on growth and sales. 

Reasons for unused data records

It is obvious that the evaluation of Big Data can bring advantages and in addition to reducing losses, it also leads to a positive increase in profits. According to information from the Institute of the German Economy, however, only about 8% of German companies carry out Big Data analyses and almost half of the companies (46%) have not even dealt with the subject yet. In particular the industrial, metal and electrical industries are far behind in using the evaluation of Big Data at a maximum of around 20%. The media, information and communications industry remains the pioneer, with around a third of companies evaluating their data. The fact that at least 60% of the industries have not carried out such evaluations yet, illustrate the extent of unused potential. 

The main reason for unexploited opportunities is the lack of experts. Around 60% of companies in Germany are in a position to carry out such analyses at all. 

Which actions can be taken

In addition to the slowly growing sensitization to the complex topic of Big Data and the associated realization that missing analyses of large data sets lead to competitive disadvantages in the medium term, the question of the procurement of suitable personnel arises. Especially small and medium-sized enterprises, which are least concerned with the evaluation of data, are left behind in the "War for Talents". This aspect underlines the tense situation on the labour market. 

Personnel consultancies that approach candidates with qualified expertise and active sourcing are one of the most efficient solutions in the age of data-driven process control in order to survive in competition with the big players.


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Josef Günthner

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+49 (0) 40 180 241 180

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