Businesses in the Middle East are able to accrue significant cost savings and increase efficiency through the use of big data, experts say. Data is helping businesses with insights that are valuable to their operations.
Speaking at Forbes Middle East’s Big Data’s Big Trends conference, Olivia Duane Adams, co-founder of Alteryx cited the example of Dubai Airports and how it has been able to increase its efficiency using big data.
“One of the processes that they had (was) to calculate the data in terms of the generation of the queues that are forming at the airport. They were looking at 160 excel spreadsheets,” she said.
However, that changed once the airport authorities turned to data to generate insights to make decisions.
“That (the previous method) was complete inefficiency once they found this new way of processing data. What was taking them 160 excel spreadsheets over the course of four days is now taking them less than five minutes to generate.”
She added that saving time was not the only benefit that Dubai Airports had through using data. The world’s largest airport for international passengers was also able to make an informed choice on how much staff they needed to hire and how many counters need to be open for ticketing and checking in during a peak period by analyzing the data generated.
Adams’ comments follow a multitude of industry research that has extolled the use of big data among businesses. According to a survey released by Alteryx, 79% of UAE businesses agree that data is critical for driving the business forward. Another report by Strategy& indicated that the GCC data economy was worth $4.7 billion – 0.3% of regional GDP in 2018, fueled mostly by the deployment of 5G and adoption of smart cities solutions by the regional governments.
The panel, which was held in JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, also addressed the importance of the quality of data collected and how it can be used to derive valuable insights. Experts agreed that companies that used data intelligently and realized its importance will grow at a faster pace.
“Organizations that are able to collect, ingest and organize data will be ahead of others,” says Ghassan Al Jamil, Business Development Director at Oracle.