It has the power to disrupt markets and create business models built on having better access to information and greater understanding of market behaviour.
Data is already changing the DNA of business. New Scottish firms are being born with data at the very core of their being - companies like Skyscanner and FanDuel that rely on having access to large volumes of data.
This is why Scottish Enterprise, The Data Lab and ScotlandIS are joining forces to create a programme of support for business to help them take advantage of the benefits of data-driven innovation.
Encouraging more Scottish companies to use data in a similar way will increase their competitiveness and agility. There’s an estimated £18 billion of productivity and innovation benefits to be realised, as well as an additional £500m annually in exports for firms that embrace data to enhance their operations.
With a range of new services and an expanded programme of events planned for the next three years, there’s lots of practical assistance available to help use data effectively.
The first service - Data Driven Competitiveness - will be launched by Scottish Enterprise later in the year and aims to help businesses use data to optimise operational efficiencies, connect with suppliers and partners for a wider business view, and gain new insights into customer behaviours.
A new marketing campaign, led by Scottish Development International, will promote Scotland’s strengths in data science in California and London to boost international trade and foreign direct investment.
With around 150 companies and a combined turnover of £1 billion, Scotland already has a vibrant and growing data sciences sector.
International companies like Asystec, Brainnwave and Intel are also choosing Scotland as a business location and partnering with local firms. This demonstrates global confidence and represents a rich source of data-driven innovation suppliers and partners for Scottish businesses.
David Smith is director of technology and engineering at Scottish Enterprise