FEATURE11 March 2019

The future is data interpretation

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Data analytics Impact Opinion

The way in which humans analyse data may be changing with technological advances, but making it easily understood for humans continues to be at the heart of our industry. By James Oates.

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Over the past few years, I have had the privilege to mentor undergraduates at my former university in Lancaster, and look forward to doing so again this year. The mentoring scheme offers students an opportunity to speak to – and learn from – analytics professionals across a range of industries. For the mentors, it’s a great way to get a better understanding of what’s important to young people who are looking to enter the analytic arena of market research.

I’m often asked how I see people-based jobs within analytics and data provision developing in the future. At its heart, this question challenges us to consider the role that technology is playing – and will play – on analytic-based activities currently undertaken by humans.

At a recent meeting, I faced these technological advances first hand. A partner organisation demonstrated a platform designed to analyse customer-purchase data. What I saw was a pre-programmed computer demonstrating multiple data retrievals and repeating the task at speed. ...