Australian Financial Review, May 23, 2016
The digital data being hoovered up by companies and governments from customers and constituents is set to become a major driver of productivity and micro-economic reform over the coming decade. Data is proliferating. IBM reckons 90 per cent of the world’s information was generated in just the past two years; and the amount of data generated worldwide in 2002 (5 billion gigabytes) is now being generated every two days. As the Productivity Commission pointed out last month, all this data should be seen as a key economic resource because it has the potential to lift efficiency, empower consumers, boost competition, drive innovation and make governments more accountable. Data is becoming \”increasingly integral to how the financial system and broader economy function,\” David Murray’s financial system inquiry observed. Pointing to ever-expanding computational power and smarter algorithms, the FSI said using data well will allow businesses to better understand the needs of consumers, improve product offerings, manage risk and reduce costs. The investment by three of Australia’s largest companies – National Australia Bank, Westpac Banking Corp and Qantas – in the start-up Data Republic, reported in Monday’s The Australian Financial Review, provides a vision of the future where companies securely exchange data with each other to enhance customer offerings.