the foundation of trust in data


Article by Qlik A/NZ Country Manager Paul Leahy.

In 2022, data is one of the most valuable assets Australian organizations possess. The long-term success and sustainability of businesses depend on it. However, the disconnect between the desire to make better use of data and the lack of confidence in data quality is holding back the ambitions of business leaders.

A lack of understanding of where information or numbers are coming from has led many Australian CEOs to question the level of risk associated with responding to data rather than making informed strategic decisions to drive organizational success. .

We should always question rather than blindly follow or obey.

This is especially true when it comes to the growing role of active intelligence in business, triggering immediate action from trusted real-time data to accelerate business value across the entire analytical supply chain. .

And there’s one word to focus on in that sentence: trust. Active intelligence relies on a symbiotic relationship between data, machines and humans. As Sally Eaves puts it in her article “A Matter of Trust” in Qlik’s new magazine, this relationship is more like “teammates or partners bringing together complementary strengths”.

At the center of this relationship is trust. But not blind trust. The human element is there not only to complete the action, but also to ensure that the KPI or metric the action is based on can be explained. The good news is that the ability to provide evidence and visibility into data as it is transformed has become much easier with the move to Explainable BI.

Why is trust important?

Without trust, we are not comfortable taking risks or making the changes necessary to be responsive, innovative and forward-looking. To make the most of data to drive better business outcomes, we need to be able to trust it and the process of the intelligent machines that compel us to act. We need explainability.

The reason we need it now is threefold.

  • Data has been democratized across the organization with the rise of self-service analytics. Every business department is now actively involved in data collection, consumption and analysis, and there are more analytics users than ever before. However, when opening the data, our understanding of where the data originated and how it was changed and manipulated – the lineage of the data – got lost along the way. Many now find it difficult to answer the simple question “where does this figure come from?”. And trust in insight is lost.
  • This, in turn, created a analytics adoption problem within companies. People won’t act if they don’t trust the ideas. And today, few are willing to bet their fortune or reputation on a data point they can’t back up.
  • Explainable BI is critical to collaborating with data. Better decisions are made when data informs the discussion; we can question it, challenge its results and tell the story of its potential impact. Understanding the lineage of this data is the basis for these discussions and when considering what other data could be introduced to provide even richer insights.

To have confidence in the transformative potential of data, we need widespread adoption of Explainable BI to provide visibility into data lineage – the source, governance, and business logic applied to data that informed insights . We need to understand what transformation the data went through to arrive at this decision and how reliable it is. This visibility allows individuals to confidently act in the moment of business and seize new opportunities.

This will only grow in importance as we move closer to more widespread adoption of the Active Intelligence model. Where we not only use the data to inform our own decisions, but it is served proactively to compel us to take action and trigger automated responses. This is only possible through trust.

Organizations that have stood the test of time are those that have adapted, innovated and taken risks. Consider the continued success of General Electric. The conglomerate embraces “Finding solutions…Not just imagining. Doing”; it was the first company in the world to own a computer and continues to make surprise market expansions into new areas, such as renewable energy.

There will always be times when companies have to take risks. But it’s very different from making risky decisions. Active intelligence empowers decision makers to not just rely on “one number on a page,” but to choose a route based on information backed by explainable and reliable data.

Article by Qlik A/NZ Country Manager Paul Leahy.


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