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Data Altruistically Adding Dimensions to Human Possibilities

By Lars Bjork, CEO, Qlik

Data Altruistically Adding Dimensions to Human Possibilities

Lars Bjork, CEO, Qlik

When you are a CEO in a global company, you owe the front row seat to what makes some organisations so successful with data, and you are humbled by the fact that it is not just about a technology. It is about connecting all of your people, all of your data, and all of your ideas. This combination is what brings new possibilities to life.

Mentioned below are the three industries where the influence of data transforms people’s lives, their health, and the environment:

A Humanitarian Medical Supply Chain

A big part of how data is changing the world is that it is being used in more agile ways than ever before. An organisation called Direct Relief acts as the humanitarian supply chain for those affected by poverty or emergency situations by mobilizing and shipping essential medical resources. When they get medical supplies donated from major suppliers they cannot predict amounts and timeframes when they will receive supplies. They also cannot predict when and where these supplies will be needed, because world events can change in a day.

“Data plays the key role today as it transform’s people’s lives, their health, and the environment”

With data making inroads in real time, they are now equipped with processes and systems to see every piece of inventory and recipient. They visually display this data on monitors posting the top items for shipment. A quick glance at the map provide insights where most goods are needed. If required, they can ask questions related to the data to ensure expiry dates meet shipping time requirements. Just as importantly, partners can also proactively see the products that Direct Relief needs and can send new supplies in a proactive, timely manner. No delays, no waste.

African Woman Microfinancing their Futures

Another practical approach to linking people, data and idea involves coalitions of women in Africa who participate in village investor’s program where they pool their money – not donated money but their own money – to create a fund for business opportunities from selling tomatoes, to sewing clothing. This group is all about the trust between its members, who give small loans to each other to gain a livelihood. Through their work with an organization called WeSeeHope, these groups are entering simple data of what they are selling each week, where demand is, what funds are available, and what profits have resulted.

There are nearly 300 of these groups across Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Tanzania totalling close to 7,000 women. And they are using data to get smarter to empower each other. With this, they learn the best selling trends in a particular location, and also uncover opportunities like the untapped regions where no one is selling fish. Although, the groups had goals of gaining equivalent to $3 a day, but with data exchange their average earning is $5 to $7 each day, double of their expected income that invariably helps them to move out of their dire poverty and build stronger lives.

Big Data Solutions for Water Scarcity

 By uniting data policy makers, corporations, and public, people would be able to access and visualise scientific and technical information in an approachable way. As an example, the Clinton Global Initiative is one such collaborative effort that recently announced multi-year CGI Commitment to Action to address water availability and quality issues across the globe. If this is truly about ideas, let’s welcome the ideas of involved citizens closest to the issues, who may just have thought about a factor that scientists and academics have not considered.

And,why were they so successful? It’s because they were able to see the whole story in their data. The above referred examples clearly vindicates how ideas, people and data create impactful solutions. Therefore, ideas of any proportion can come to life when connected with people and data. Some ideas are very big, some may start small and grow, but in either case the possibilities remain endless.

Located in Radnor, Pennsylvania, United States, Qlik is a software company that provides QlikView and Qlik Sense, business intelligence and visualization software.

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