The details of how – and when – Britain will quit the block remain up in the air, with Theresa May having been granted a further delay to Article 50 which expires on October 31, assuming she cannot get her withdrawal agreement passed by the Commons before May 22. Huge amounts of uncertainty remain – but Bill Hammond, founder of Big Data LDN, said so-called Big Data can help with the transition whenever it happens. He told Express.co.uk: “In a nutshell, big data is the term for any data by organisations. Extremely large data sets that can be difficult to process using traditional techniques.
“Usually stored in vast quantities, today organisations have the technology to gain insights from it that were not thought possible just a few decades ago.
“Today, the term Big Data really just means ‘Data’ and for many holds the information required to save businesses time and money, as well as novel ideas that might transform the way things are done.
“Whether Britain leaves the EU with a deal or without one, big data will have a part to play, as it does today. It is actually a strategic imperative for our public sector, not a nice to have.”
Mr Hammond said one of big data’s biggest perks was in identifying potential waste and helping organisations provide the same services on a leaner budget
He added: “This could be a literal lifesaver in the hands of the emergency services and local Government as the UK transitions out of the EU.
“No matter the position of the UK within the European Union, the next age of public sector organisations will be directed and defined by the intelligence distilled from data analytics solutions.
“While the national narrative around public services is often focused on cost pressures, data analytics will shift the value measure to the success of outcomes.”
Mr Hammond said big data was key to the working of artificial intelligence (AI), which relies on vast amounts of data to ‘learn’ and provide suggestions or patterns to the world’s most complex problems.
He added: “This is really about using AI to get upstream and allow early intervention opportunities, eg from strategic planning to protecting the vulnerable and reducing demand at a tactical level.
“AI undoubtedly has the ability to completely transform the way public sector organisations operate, streamline and enhance the offering provided to citizens across the country.
“However, what’s important to remember is that AI relies on the right kind of data, not just any data. It’s a science and the public sector needs to be invested and enabled to exploit the opportunities it holds.
“Companies vary wildly in investment levels. However, research shows the Government has invested heavily in its people.
“Over a quarter, 26 percent, of public sector organisations are already using the advanced analytics techniques needed for big data, which isn’t very many.
“Additionally, 50 percent of public sector workers surveyed are either confident and well-trained or competent and eager to learn when it comes to Data Literacy.
“But whilst this number is positive, it still means that 50 percent are not comfortable with data. That’s why both public and private sector organisations must place data literacy front and centre.
“As data and AI take hold of every aspect of our lives, having the data skills across all levels and organisations to be able to ask questions of data without the restrictions dictated by machines will be key to future proofing the UK’s workforce across every industry.”