Data, data, nothing but data. What do we do with it?

According to an IDC study, the total amount of data generated annually worldwide will increase from 33 zettabytes to 175 zettabytes in 2025. IP traffic is also growing analogously. According to a Cisco study, annual global IP traffic will increase to 4.8 zettabytes by 2022. This naturally raises the question of how we want to use this enormous amount of data. For the use of the data, both Big Data analyses and traditional data analyses are important. From the business point of view, possibilities of data utilisation open up through modern business intelligence in order to be able to answer operative and strategic questions. Basically, these questions can be answered on the basis of intuition and experience. Furthermore, people and processes are of high importance and specific tools and concepts can be used. Finally, data and analysis are of central importance. Ideally, all four of the aforementioned aspects come together to answer strategic questions, for example. Especially the underpinning of intuition and experience with concrete, specific data is an added value in this area. The Business Intelligence application supports decision-makers in answering questions and also in asking new questions based on analyses. It is important that results are always critically questioned. Because thinking should be a main task of humans. Business Intelligence is not a new concept. However, it has gained in importance in everyday organisational life in recent years, among other things due to the enormous data generation, collection, linking and analysis. Simpler” methods, instruments and software for data analysis and visualisation, such as PowerBI or Tableau, also make a contribution. This is true both from an operational and a strategic point of view. They support decision-making, e.g. through reports and interactive dashboards. In essence, it is about effectiveness (“doing the right things”), such as the development of new business models or the adaptation of existing business models. But it is also about supporting decisions for initiatives to increase efficiency (“doing things right”) and thus about shaping and optimising an organisation, such as marketing or HR. Business Intelligence is no longer just a tool for (IT) specialists. It is becoming more and more important for normal business users in all areas of an organisation.


1] Reinsel, D., Gantz, J., Rydning, J.: “The Digitization of the World From Edge to Core”, 2018. 2] Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Trends, White Paper, 2017-2022.

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Connecta Bern 2019

This article was written as part of Prof. Dr. Kim Oliver Tokarski’s presentation at Connecta Bern 2019 and first appeared on The Swiss Post.

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AUTHOR: Kim Oliver Tokarski

Prof. Dr. Kim Oliver Tokarski is head of continuing education at BFH Wirtschaft. He is the director of studies of the EMBA Digital Business and lecturer for Entrepreneurship and Corporate Management.

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