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The Information Age is allowing Industry to become more data-intensive, with companies and organisations using technology to collect vast amounts of information to understand trends, develop controls, make better forecasts, improve products and services and create solutions for the future.
A strategic Big Data conference took place at the MET Office's headquarters on Exeter's Business Park on 6 April, organised by Bishop Fleming, bringing together data experts in the fields of science, technology, business, accountancy and audit, to review how the mass of available technology-driven information can best be used more effectively.
The conference provided an opportunity for Devon-based organisations to shape a clearer vision of how they can innovate through the use of insightful information.
It was also a launchpad for Bishop Fleming's new data-analytics-based audit services.
Fleur Lewis, partner with the firm and its lead on Big Data, explained: "The conference was a springboard for showing how the future belongs to those who can create value from the explosion of data. Many businesses are data rich, but information poor, though they can turn this around through better analysis to generate efficiencies, improve products and customer service, allowing those who can be ahead of the game to maximise market share and profitability."
Speaking at the event, Charles Ewen, Director of Technology and Chief Information Officer for the MET office, highlighted the current challenges of collecting and storing huge amounts of data, and the need to transform this mass of facts and figures through analytics to solve business problems.
Mrs Lewis concurred, citing how Bishop Fleming was now partnering with key software developers to utilise big data analytics as a way of improving the quality of its audit services.
Fleur Lewis added: "Software is now capable of examining 100% of all transactions in an organisation to not only uncover hidden patterns, prevent fraud and find the proverbial needle in a haystack, but also to provide valuable insight and intelligence for management to assist their financial and operational decision making."
Speaking after the conference, the Bishop Fleming partner commented: "As a firm, we want to share our vision with clients and provide them with thought leadership on how they can derive value from the information they hold. We are enabling our clients to make key decisions on investments in technology, people and processes through evidence-based quality data, and that is very exciting."