Data Analytics is a key disruptive technology that is expected to yield enormous competitive and financial gains to those who adopt and adapt quickest, writes Gerard Lande.

Data analytics is not an actual sector, it is a discipline that can support better decision making in every walk of life from science to social policy.

Commercially, it has the capability to transcend all functional areas of business and is becoming pervasive in many sectors such as financial services, telecoms, pharmaceuticals, food and manufacturing.

Data analytics differs from conventional analysis in that it uses up-to-date software to scrutinise large or complex information sets that traditional data processing methods cannot effectively analyse. It also addresses weaknesses in conventional approaches by providing advanced solutions in data capture, curation, search, storage and visualisation.

This disruptive technology can help businesses grow, become more competitive and more profitable which in turn offers job creation prospects on top of all its other benefits for business and society at large.

Data analytics has been identified as offering huge economic and social potential by Government with close to exponential growth in the discipline predicted in the coming years. Ireland is well placed in terms of technology and human capability to compete with the best-in-class globally, delivering the benefits identified in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs.

New tools and technologies are continually being developed to help companies extract value from data sets by uncovering insights not previously imagined or thought possible. These technologies can provide better and faster decision making, cost reductions and yield new products and services.

But to avail of this opportunity, Ireland needs to keep developing its technological, skills and research ecosystem. To that end, Enterprise Ireland funded the Centre for Applied Data Analytics Research (CeADAR, www.ceadar.ie) which has a remit to support indigenous and multi-national companies in Ireland with data analytics technology.

Top-tier multinational and Irish ICT companies are already involved with CeADAR. Partners include:

Realex Payments, Accenture, Sonalake, Fidelity Investments, AIB, Adaptive Mobile, Inflight, Blue Insurance, Nathean Technologies, Dolitte, CR2, Crème Global.

The Datsci Awards is an integral part of recognising the importance and achievements of the sector in developing this ecosystem and encouraging more people to accelerate the adoption and use of Data Science within their business.

Gerard Lande is Senior Commercialisation Specialist at the Enterprise Ireland Research & Innovation Unit