20 September 2019
Building a smart city is one example of how big data technology can be applied to everyday life. Photo: YouTube/AXA
Building a smart city is one example of how big data technology can be applied to everyday life. Photo: YouTube/AXA

Big data capability requires teamwork

It goes without saying how important innovation and technology is. Just look at how Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor highlighted this sector in her maiden policy address.

I must emphasize, innovation and technology takes long and hard work. In particular, persistent efforts have to be made in developing data resources, which lie at the root of innovation.

When discussing with the business sector, I often hear that cross-department coordination is the biggest problem in data integration.

My suggestion is, there must be a mutual beneficial system to incentivize staff. I also like to remind others that it will only get harder if companies don’t build up their data ability now, and it will also get much costlier.

Gartner has released the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2018, among which it pointed out that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning would expand into almost every aspect, underpinning the digital platform and set the stage for business innovation over the next five years.

In fact, AI has already become part of the infrastructure of numerous companies. New technology is emerging fast. Other than data preparation, integration, algorithm, training methodology selection and model creation, technologies about constant risk evaluation is particularly important.

AI is also driving advances for new intelligent things, data assimilation, edging computing, self learning, etc.

To build up big data capabilities, teamwork is key. Multiple constituencies including data scientists, developers and business process owners will need to work together.

Coordinating all these disciplines is very challenging work, thus, the creation of a new role — chief data officer, who helps close the gap between IT and other operations within the organization, who takes overall responsibility for data management.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Oct. 19

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China, former head of the data committee and vice president at Alibaba Group.