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“Intelligence (The right and smart
engagement with Data) seats at the center of true and sustainable
organizational growth and the development of human capital for 21st
century national productivity, growth and development.”
Gospel Obele – Economist.
Part of the age of globalization and
the fourth industrial revolution is the rise and relevance of data and
information use. This relevance cuts across all strata of the society from
public to private sector, associations, Non-governmental organizations, international
community engagements, the high, middle and low class etc.
For Businesses to realize their true
potential in today’s global and local economy, especially those in highly
dynamic and developing markets, they must understand we are in times where:
- There is an increasing coexistence of
social-economic advancements, problems and dysfunctionalities that strongly inform,
shape and influence buying, spending and revenue outcomes.
- The consumer is in the middle of a
fast changing world with many moving realities, thus the rising need to
understand them in-parts and holistically requiring “expertise” and
contemporary systems thinking.
- There is growing struggle for personal
attention, empathy, the war between rationality and irrationality and stories
that further shape buying decisions and narratives. This therefore places businesses,
brands, systems and nations who refuse to find and tell their stories at risk
of those with lesser or lower knowledge of their functionalities telling it for
- The innovation community has come to understand
that despite so many “solutions” around, that same problems exists in growing
wild patterns, leading to need to carefully understand problems/a phenomenon
and their varying causation mechanisms in order to provide solutions that speak
to what the problem is and not what we think it is.
- Organizations need to embrace action
learning to solving day-to-day business problems as they evolve and realizing
that at the heart of this, learning for organizational change and development
through time is a strong culture of using and building intelligent systems.
- Context is powerful but more powerful
and well understood for advantage when engaged with the right and smart
These and many more speak to urgent need to lead
and do business more intelligently as the dynamics are changing. The Nigerian
consumer landscape and the resources and opportunities it offers have not been optimally
explored yet because there is inadequate understanding about what exists, where
it exists, the various patterns of its existence and how to maximize them.
For example, an NGO set out to
understand the demographic and psychographic needs of populace in Yaba local
government in Lagos, through the community development areas the study
identified and informed what kind of social interventions and impact programs
were necessary to deliver the developmental aspirations of the people in the
Our education system and
socio-economic fabric has made us believe any initiative (even as expressed
through government policies) can be embarked on without the relevant
information needed, because we have been used to “intelligent guesswork” and
mounting pressure on teams to deliver at any cost. But at this point of our
national history is the need to unlearn that culture, in as much as learning
the culture of smart information use for strategic engagements can be highly
technical, intellectual, capital intensive and creates culture shock. This is one
critical way or quick win for businesses to unlock their potential, evolve as
well as to position themselves to contribute to the aggregate level – national human
capital productivity and development.
Advanced economies with credible brands have adopted this as a critical tool to understand, engage and lead change for profitable business impact despite assumed to have more better informed consumers, thus their growing brand value and equity that ties to home country advantage and positioning in the global market and economy.
Author: Gospel Obele