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The digital community is growing by the minute. In fact, over the past eight months it’s grown by more than 30 percent. It’s no wonder, then, that data – online data, to be precise – has taken center stage. When the market is moving so rapidly and changes can take place literally overnight, you need to rely on a source of information that is just as fast and hugely reliable to make your most critical decisions quickly. This is where online data plays a major role.
During the past five years, the world has realized that data is the main driving force behind multiple industries. Online data has dramatically changed how we do business, how we track and identify emerging, present, and even future consumer demands, and how we build our business strategies accordingly.
Simply, online data is generated by everyone, everywhere. The staggering growth rate by which companies are now collecting online data is only expected to rise. For example, almost 18 percent of global businesses have chosen to reduce investments around their physical stores and, instead, invest in global digital channels This is a direct result of the social distancing guidelines the world is facing today. Moreover, local businesses understand the huge potential in expanding their digital channels and have now turned global by moving online. The recent developments have not only accelerated the pace in which data is generated but also the rate it’s being collected. We expected such developments to happen years from now as opposed to over the course of months.
This is supported by a recent survey managed by Frost & Sullivan, which found that over 54 percent of all IT decision makers in enterprises expressed the need for larger scale data collection. So, what is expected for 2021 on the data front?
Companies Will Continue to Protect Their Online Data – Even When Referring to Openly Available Data
Companies, businesses and organizations still sense a great deal of need to enhance their data protection tools on all fronts. Fraudsters and abusers have taken advantage of the vast number of digital channels recently created and have committed illegal online activities, including phishing attempts, fake reviews and ratings, illegal purchases, DDoS attacks, and more. This rise in fraudulent activities across all digital channels is a direct result of the pandemic and US election season. Consequently, it really is no surprise that companies have put in place strict and even more comprehensive security operations.
However, the types of protection that businesses are forced to implement unfortunately include openly available and free online data, which places a great challenge to the entire business community. This is because what’s available to you and me as individual consumers is not available for businesses.
Data Collection Supercharged Across the Industry
Data privacy and copyright restrictions will continue to guide all businesses – this is a fact that should not be questioned. But when it comes to freely consumed, openly available online data channels, the case is slightly different. As mentioned, this type of data plays a pivotal role in almost every business’s decision-making across almost every industry today. Online data can help businesses of any size address their customers’ wishes and demands, improve the overall customer service and quality of products as well as anticipate market shifts as they are about to unfold. For this reason, the business community will supercharge online data collection operations and continue to expedite their growth at an unprecedented rate well into 2021 without showing any signs of slowing down.
Openly Free, On-Demand Data Market
In a perfectly open competitive business world, companies would not fight to block public data collection attempts. On the contrary, they would probably make data collection easier, just as businesses today help search engines like Google and Bing crawl and catalogue their websites for their own benefit. I think that in the future, companies will realize that sharing information can work to their benefit and will look for new ways to allow it to happen. As innovation is a direct result of knowledge sharing, I hope that one day the process of gathering data in the masses will become easier and simpler for all.
I see a real need for an emerging data market that provides on-demand, quality, verified and fresh public data – much like Google provides web search results. The Frost & Sullivan survey I referenced earlier indicates that 49 percent of key IT leaders rely on online data for market research. This will surely have a massive impact on businesses and the obstacles they place on others’ data collection efforts. Such central data hubs can also provide the added value of reducing the “fake traffic” load on all sites, as everyone who needs public data from a particular site will go to the data hub instead of creating their own parallel process. This will lead to greater accuracy in the behavioral insights into real users, which will result in greatly improved service quality.
In 2021, I predict that the data collection efforts will expand and multiply. As a result, companies will look for automated solutions to free up their respective employees’ time so they can focus on more important tasks. No company or business can really remain relevant today without constantly gathering data.
Furthermore, open-for-all, on-demand data hubs are in the making, and I predict that in the next two years we will see much more evolved data markets. How exactly this will take shape and how fast companies will adopt and put their trust in these hubs remains to be seen. But one thing I can say confidently is this: We will see many more data markets than ever before.