Across specialist forums and all over the internet, there are voices sounding off about the merits of data, and the right way to approach this valuable new resource. With many industry analysts sharing their views on the ways in which data should be collated, processed, analyzed and presented, this is an opportune time – situated, as we are, at the turn of a new decade – to get up to speed with what’s set to be the key feature of business in the 2020s. Read on to learn four key insights about the data industry as it develops into a powerful global market.

Data is Precious

The first insight is that data is incredibly precious, and should never be discarded nor cleansed. Raw data is important because it contains not just the obvious insights about the operations within a company or market – but it also contains little side-bytes of information that may also prove to be useful in certain circumstances. Whether that’s in the form of metadata like timestamps, or other data that you hadn’t looked at on your first analysis, always keep your data as if it’s a precious treasure – you never know when it might come in handy.

The Future is Data-Driven

More than ever, the statistical insights into the way we play, work and trade are becoming the very groundswell upon which businesses operate. In the future, board room decisions will not be made without consultation of datasets – and, it’s more than likely, the loudest voice will be the data itself. In short, the future will be run by data, informed by it, and powered by it. If you’re looking at a particular set of skills to invest in over the course of this decade, data processing and analysis should be top of your list.

Processing Language

One of the key cornerstones of data processing and data analysis is the language in which coders write their queries and search terms. For many, this is done in SQL Regex – a language that experienced coders may be aware of, but one that novices can also learn to understand and deploy with relative ease over the course of a few weeks. Taking an online course, or reading online publications, about this coding language is a must for those who want to quickly sift through datasets to find the best information, and present that to their managers or clients.

Data and Privacy

On the cusp of a new wave of data innovations, it’s now that many governments around the world are considering the merits of open datasets, and the laws that might regulate how companies use consumer data in their day-to-day operations. Today, we trade much of our data for access to free services such as Facebook and Google. This trade-off might not seem like such a sacrifice today – but it’s predicted that it may be in the coming years. As such, be aware that data privacy laws are likely to change ad become more robust in the near future.

Data appears to be an incredibly important consideration in modern life – and these four tips will help you understand why that’s the case.