Most companies are data rich and information poor. Even small companies have accumulated stockpiles of data, packaged them in data warehouses and called it Information Technology. Some companies will hire statisticians who often end up becoming a sophisticated software extension of the IT system. These are what I call the Data Grinders. They add value insofar as they are able to sell their solutions. Unfortunately salesmanship is not usually a strength of the data grinder.
What’s really needed are people who can collaborate, gain substantive knowledge about the business, probe into problems, and most importantly, gain the trust of decision makers. No matter how clever a solution is it must be understood and trusted by the stakeholders. We need creative consultants who happen to be equipped with an arsenal of tools to transform data into actionable intelligence.