It's not just about data - it's about bringing us closer together

In a world increasingly governed by bytes and algorithms, the phrase "data is the new oil" has become a modern mantra. As artificial intelligence (AI) entwines itself more deeply into the fabric of our daily lives, the obsession with data grows. However, it's crucial to recognise that the true essence of data's power lies not in its quantitative capacity but in its ability to bring people closer together.

The rapid advancement of AI technologies has turned data into a cornerstone of modern life. Phrases like "get the data" or "what does the data say?" are not just business jargon, but have seeped into the vernacular of everyday life. A conversation with a scientist, well-versed in mathematics and statistics, revealed a common belief: the true power of data lies not in its existence but in its availability and usage. The challenge often encountered is not the absence of data but the lack of access to it.

Data's importance transcends its role as mere information. It's a tool to understand past events, assess opportunities and evaluate threats. However, its fundamental value lies in providing certainty - the comfort of knowing outcomes, measuring performance and identifying new possibilities through rapid feedback. These aspects, deeply rooted in human emotion, underline how we relate to technology.

Despite the technological advancements, the ultimate goal should not be overlooked; using AI and data to enhance human connections. Businesses often focus on mining data for insights into operational efficiency or customer acquisition. While this approach has merits, it risks overshadowing the more personal aspect of business - building and maintaining relationships.

The pursuit of data-driven optimisation often leads businesses to prioritise short-term gains, such as revenue growth or cost reduction. This approach, however, neglects the long-term compounding value of customer affinity. True service and hospitality, elements that foster strong, lasting relationships with customers, are invaluable and often overlooked in the data-driven business model.

Remember all economic value is found in relation to people.

As we navigate this rapidly evolving world, the challenge lies in understanding and harnessing the real value of data. It's not just about the metrics and numbers; it's about enhancing the human experience from end-to-end. The true potential of AI and data lies in their ability to amplify positive human behaviour and strengthen connections.

Data, in the age of AI, is more than a commodity; it's a bridge that connects people. While the focus on operational efficiencies and customer acquisition is understandable, it's crucial to remember the underlying purpose of technology is human. By shifting our perspective from data as a mere tool to data as a means of enhancing human relationships, we can unlock its true potential and create a more connected experience.