Saturday, 24 October 2015

The World Productivity Congress is proving to be very interesting.

Just before the event I read an article by Robert Gordon about the state of US productivity, the gist of which was that the major innovations of the period 1870-1970 fuelled productivity growth but now we have 'used them up' and productivity is stagnating, compounded by the fact that we are incurring extra costs coping with the negative (environmental) effects of those innovation.

At this event we hear lots of papers extolling the virtues of Big Data in terms of creating Smart Cities, new forms of healthcare, competitive advantage - and so on.

Will this be reflected in the economic and productivity figures of the next few years - or decades?

We have to hope so - or our children and grandchildren are in for a long period of slow growth or stagnation.

Of course you might only care about how your own business is going to survive and grow - and you probably don't have access to 'big data'.  But you do have access to data - about your own business' performance - and hopefully about your competitors - and the market generally. You need to use this 'small data' to chart a way through the rough seas ahead.  Forget the long-term picture for the company.  Where are you going in the next 2-5 years?  Is that a safe place?

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