The Driven by Data Summit 2016

Written By Harry Moseley, Edited By Lewis Fogden
Mon 17 October 2016, in category General



On 22nd September 2016 Keyrus hosted this year’s Driven by Data Summit – Harnessing Disruption in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

This year’s theme looked to discuss the ever increasing rate of change and disruption in business nowadays and how data and the analysis of it underpin this. Over the course of the afternoon various speakers explored the notion that businesses need to embrace and harness this “new normal” to create new rev enue streams and opportunities or face being left behind by the competition. The building blocks of this being the growing variety in which data is stored (internal, external, structured, unstructured), the growing variety of analytics and the increasing range of people who are able to interact with data.


The Summit got underway by declaring the arrival of the data and digital era, coined by many as the 4th Industrial Revolution. Following an introduction into how we have emerged into this era, Santiago Castro, Head of Analytics for Keyrus UK began his talk, "Information Revolution & the Digital Economy" posing the question of whether we are ready for an era of such constant change and disruption. The discussion explored how the increasing digitization of products and services has sparked a digital revolution in which through innovation has given rise to some of the biggest players in the market such as Facebook and Amazon. Concluding that constant innovation needs to be partnered with transformation and acted upon for organizations to adapt and survive in this new digital economy.


Succeeding Santiago’s talk Brian Millrine, Strategy Director of BrooksonLtd an accounting service provider shared how his organization has succeeded in embracing technology and disruption by maximising the use of their data that is in-turn improving the services they provide to their customers and lowering operating costs. Brian’s talk embodied much of the message emphasized throughout Santiago’s discussion serving as a great example of the rewards that can be achieved by acting on innovation. Equally, Ross Simson, Head of MI Transformation for a major utilities company provided a real example of how his organization has been forced by competition in the marketplace to re-build the basics to react. Previously failing to deal with the extremely high levels of customer engagement such as emails and calls, the organization had little choice but to embrace disruption and are now as a result making effective use of the large amount of data at their finger-tips.

The remainder of the afternoon continued in a similar vein. Data thought leader Dai Clegg, asserted that new technologies and new forms of data are opening new ways for businesses to exploit their data and gain an advantage. This was echoed by Eynav Azarya, CEO of Panorama Software discussing how data is changing our lives, decisions and society, with new technologies opening the door into the exploration of “dark data” creating a whole new avenue of opportunities.


The focus progressed onto the changing variety of data that has emerged. Dorian Selz, CEO and founder of Squirro during his talk “Insights are the new business currency in business” highlighted that today over 80% of data resides in unstructured formats and an even larger 95% of data available is not used for decision making. Stressing that it is now imperative for organizations to take a different approach and effectively make use of this large percentage of unstructured data to gain insights businesses can act upon.


Furthering Dorian’s discussion, Professor John Rust and Vesselin Popov from the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre described how they are utilizing unstructured data to perform Psychometric Analysis in their talk "Psychometric Analysis: Risks, Rewards and Revolution." The academics demonstrated and discussed how digital records of behaviour can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes.

As the Summit drew towards its climax Christophe Severs, Senior Vice President for the Keyrus Group offered his closing remarks stating that data is the oil of the 21st Century as a fundamental shift from building pipelines and refineries to turning insights into value evolves today. Christophe wrapping-up what was a fantastic data driven afternoon.