Large swathes of the population have rebelled against elites whose goals, strategies and tactics have failed to deliver the perceived benefits of globalisation and increased trade.
The "rustbelt" in the USA, Northern & Midland towns & cities in the UK, high rates of youth unemployed in Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and more.
One key failure is productivity. Improving productivity is the only way to increase living standards. The US and UK both fail to tackle this problem. Yet both are stacked high with analytics and BI tools to make better decisions by the classic cycle of
So what is going wrong?
One key factor is data- no matter how good the tools if the data is incomplete, inaccurate, or inaccessible then decisions are flawed. Too often a focus on glittering visualisations, self-service analytics or new algorithms hides the fect the data is poor.
Another is the rush for digital transformation is grabbing new technology when the cultural and organisational factors remain rooted in the past. AI, machine learning, Blockchain will not change outcomes without leadership, innovation and a laser-like focus on improvement.
A third factor is the avoidance of an unpalatable truth to many politicians and voters. Productivity will never increase unless declining and unproductive enterprises and organisations are replaced by new and productive ones- change in other words. Otherwise known as "Creative Destruction".
Jobs coming back into the US from abroad will increasingly be robotic rather than human. The Industrial Strategy in the UK will need legions of people trained in new new jobs, not old ones.
Analytics is a means to an end and not the end itself- something analytics vendors often seem to forget. Analytics need to be woven into the DNA of the business but the business ( or public sector organisation) has to transform itself first in order to benefit from analytics and BI.
And that is not a technology issue- it is a management issue at Nation, State, Enterprise and Public Sector Level.
"Why aren’t you doing something productive?” If only I knew, as an angsty 15-year-old, what I know after conducting the research for this article. If only I could respond to my parents with the brilliant retort, "You know, the idea of productivity actually dates back to before the 1800s." If only I could ask, "Do you mean 'productive' in an economic or modern context?"