A different version of ThrowForward Thursday today, as I demonstrate an amazing tool at Oman’s Royal Academy of Management. This is a lesson in how to use data and turn it into something practical. Your organisation needs a Chief Data Analytics Officer, for sure.


I talk a lot about the importance of data and how we need to gather data, not just get more information, but analyse what makes sense of the data and turn it into something meaningful.

Today, as your tour guide to the future, I’m actually in Oman. I’m at the Royal Academy of Management, and they have built the most remarkable data centre. Let me see if I can show you a little bit of it here. What you have is a screen where you have access to some of the world’s leading indicators in a variety of different categories.

Let’s go into global competitiveness and governance. All they’ve taken is readily available, publicly available indices. They reckon they’ve got nearly 100 different indexes here. Let’s have a look over here at the Global Innovation Index, whatever that might be, we’ll pick it up in a second, and we just apply it to the big screen. You’ll be able to see behind me here just the Global Index. It tells me it comes from the World Intellectual Property Organisation. Then on the other side, it’s picked up Oman and some of the indicators from the index that link to Oman, telling us that they are 55th in the world, that they have a GCC rank, that’s the six GCC countries. They’re not going to like that that they are fifth there. Then it indicates some of the areas in which they need to improve.

Just a wonderful dashboard, but here’s the really cool thing. We can now choose any other country. Let me go to my home country of South Africa, and I’m just going to pull that up here. So, we’ve got all the countries in the world, I’m guessing all the countries are included in this index. I add South Africa to the list and I apply it. Now we get a comparison between South Africa and Oman, and we are able to compare them head to head, looking at everything from GDP indexes to population, and then some of the scrolling data from that particular index.

With the press of a button, we’re able to access different indices, link and match different countries together, and Oman and this is essentially the Royal Academy of Management, which is the centre of the development of leadership and management capabilities for the country, directly reporting to the sultan, the royal family, and the leaders of business. They have at their fingertips not just data, but data that has been transformed into visualisations and information that… for me, the key thing is the matrices over here saying what’s improved over the last year since the previous index, what still needs to be improved? Then you can dig in and have a look at some of the actual things that need to be done.

Data is vital, but data transformed into insight that then informs actions is actually what we need to be doing. Do you have a head of data analytics? Do you have a head of insights, a chief officer for analytics, and for wisdom that can help you to do this in your organisation? You should have.



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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.

For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.



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