30 de agosto de 2019

Data-driven times

By Leonardo Müller*

(Credits: Austin Distel/Unsplush)

The stage is set for the nearby future: big data + fake news.

On the one hand, an amount of data so huge, we simply cannot directly deal with it, an amount that grows daily (and will continue to do so, at growing rates), not only in volume, but also in speed and variety. On the other, the creation and proliferation of false information that even if don’t actually misinform us, make us lose time, falsified data that is also growing in volume, speed, and variety.

It is not an overstatement to say that it has never been so necessary to resort to methods of filtering this data using coherent and organized packs of information; after all, good decision-making is virtually impossible without precise and reliable information.

Gathering data, separating the true from the false, labeling it, finding patterns and correlations, translating and designing it, modeling and testing. In every step, there are multiple methods and tools available, each one more or less suitable to the goal aimed. Indeed, any kind of data analysis is useless if disconnected of a question or a hypothesis. A poorly formulated question will, most likely, end up in lost efforts and resources. By its very nature, data analysis must always be closely linked to the decision-making process it is meant to inform.

In corporate communication, there is an additional difficulty: how to measure if the message was understood? If it achieved its goal? What was its impact on the overall business results? However, here too there are many methods and tools available. The best one(s) can only be decided about the questions that need to be answered.

As it should be clear by now, gathering and analyzing data only makes sense if it is part of the global strategy of the organization. What’s the point of having a team of statisticians if the areas receiving their reports don’t know how to interpret them? Implementing a solid analytic culture in any organization means much more than simply employing an ultra-specialized team of researchers or buying the newest data tool in the market. It means to put information at the core of the organization’s strategy, implementing habits and processes used in data analysis.

In tune with the present time and with its history of pioneer and leading research in the field of corporate communication in Brazil, Aberje is reviewing its own research procedures. The goal is to consolidate the institution’s position as a reliable source of information, first and foremost, for its associates, but also the market and public in general.

Leonardo Müller is an economist with a master’s degree and a doctorate in philosophy, he is specialized in the history of economic science. Currently developing a postdoctoral research at USP (University of São Paulo).



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