Finger in the air: 5 reasons why Caribbean businesses are not as data-centric as they should be

Data analytics, business intelligence, market intelligence, are are buzzwords that have not truly taken root in Caribbean organisations. Here are five reasons why.

Although we all know that we are living in the digital age, where information and data are increasingly critical to our daily lives, to a considerable degree and this day and age, Caribbean businesses are still making important decisions based on primarily anecdotal evidence and instinct. While instinct, and even luck, do have their place, among Caribbean organisations, there almost appears to be an aversion to conducting thorough and defensible analysis in order to be in a position to draw cogent and logical conclusions. Here we discuss five reasons for that posture in organisations.

1.  They are satisfied using proxy data only

Too often, when a business has a problem that it is seeking a solution, research is conducted online, which may become the sole basis for decision or recommendation made. While online research is useful, as it can point to what obtains in other organisations, industries, or even countries, at best, but it would be ill-advised to completely of the information provide.

Most Caribbean countries are Small Island Developing States. Hence, in addition to their small population sizes and challenging economies, there are a broad range of vulnerabilities, some of which are unique to each country in the region that must be considered, but are unlikely to be readily reflected in data from other countries.

2.  Generating data requires resources and planning

If they think about it, most organisation could come up with a wishlist of data to which they would like access. Though some of it would be environmental and market-related, it is likely to also include data points that the organisation itself could generate. However, many people fail to appreciate that – for all intents and purposes – data does not magical appear. Systems must be established to capture it, which require planning and resources, which may not necessarily be limited to money, but also include manpower.