How making data valuable is changing what’s possible across South Africa’s business landscape.
Who cheats more, men or women? According to an online survey conducted by the academic blog Truth About Deception nearly 67% of men reported cheating on their wives more than once compared to 53% of women. Contrast that to previous surveys and this could indicate that the infidelity gap is closing. Not because men are cheating less but rather that women are cheating now, more often. Before you choose a side, the data needs to be interrogated with questions like, “Do the numbers regarding who gets caught cheating match up with the numbers of people actually cheating? Do respondents to the surveys lie? And is the increase in women cheating a new phenomenon or are women just getting more comfortable admitting to it?” The answers to these questions all have the potential to change the meaning of the data captured.
It doesn’t matter how much data an organization collects. It isn’t valuable until it delivers actionable insights. This is where the eagles of data come in. Jason Basterfield and Stefan Harbron are the Founders of Expeditus, the trailblazing data consultancy that uses data to innovate. “Analysing data allows us to see the big picture”, says Jason, known as the Don Quan of Data due to his extraordinary ability to turn data into compelling and inspiring stories. Highly proficient in software technologies, he has used this advantage to deliver unique and valuable insights to Expeditus’ high profile client list.
Data and technology are driving business change. Data-driven companies are disrupting competitors and reimagining business models. The country’s biggest medical aid provider, one of South Africa’s most successful data-driven businesses outperforms its nearest competitor by nearly a million members. Yet, London’s Big Data Institute estimates that only 0.5% of the data available in the world is currently being used and analysed. Added to this only 34% of C-Level Executives feel confident they have the data literacy skills to adequately perform their roles. “Putting data to use. Not just collecting it is the future of business”, says Harbron. With the title of ‘Chief Data Whisperer’, Harbron has built a formidable reputation as an innovative Business Intelligence expert. His passion is finding the business solutions that will profoundly impact a company’s future prospects.
For both data eagles, assisting their clients, who include some of South Africa’s biggest blue-chip companies, spanning the banking, insurance and healthcare sectors, to embrace data as an asset starts with data literacy. “The ability to speak ‘data’ is the difference between successfully deriving value from data and data analytics and losing out to competitors who have made it their core competency,” explains Harbron. As data experts, the Expeditus team is front and center of driving data literacy by assisting companies to understand, analyse and use data comfortably. “We are knowledge curators who guide your team on how to use data successfully in their daily roles,” adds Basterfield. “This encompasses sharing the critical thinking skills necessary to interpret data and communicate its significance to others”.
It’s a skill that brings us back to how we started. Men cheat more than women. We’ve always known that. But contrast that to the 22% drop in marriages from 2011 to 2020 across South Africa and there’s the beginning of an interesting story. Maybe it’s time to call in the eagles of all things data.