Human insight in a data driven world takes center stage at Digitalks 2018

Digitalks 2018

UAE marketers address the importance of human insight to create competitive advantage and long-term value

The second edition of Digitalks, MENA’s first ever digitally-focused conference series, concluded on a high note with digital professionals embracing a monumental change in human centered design, big data and analytics. With the theme, ‘Unlocking Human Insights in a Data-Driven World’, the conference aims at bringing together a wide variety of industry experts from innovators, business leaders, and digital experts to address the next wave of the digital revolution.

This year’s conference was attended by some of the region’s most highly respected digital luminaries who delivered the most compelling content and insights on current trends to bridge the gap between human intelligence and data. Speakers included Arash Nourkeyhani, Head of Experience Strategy and Design at RBBi, Jad Khalil, Agency Development Manager at Google, Laura Chaibi, Head of Marketing Intelligence and Syndicate Digital at MBC, Louise Blake, Head of Data at Tajawal, Daniel Mendonça, Head of Data Intelligence at EY and Jennifer Hoffman – Director Marketing at Deepcrawl.

Technology has led to the rise in popularity of big data. However, at the same time, it is important to remember that the core of these developments is people. Bridging the gap between human intelligence and data has become a critical aspect to all businesses. In the last two years alone, 90% of data in the world was generated, equating to 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created each day. Revenues for big data and analytics (BDA) in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) totaled $1.98 billion in 2016, according to the latest Worldwide Semiannual Big Data and Analytics Spending Guide from International Data Corporation (IDC). Yet, in a study by PWC, 57% of Middle East participants indicate that their companies have no significant data analytic functions embedded within the company.[1] Participants at Digitalks discussed various ways by which businesses in the Middle East could craft and weave a digital experience that would drive business goals while remaining aesthetic and functional.

Digitalks 2018

Arash Nourkeyhani, Head of UX at RBBi commented, “We should drive towards creating smart and impactful ecosystems through transformation of data, as opposed to addressing single products and services. Empowering these ecosystems to incrementally and perpetually learn, adapt and respond to human condition, will result in systems that can impact our day to day life in a positive way, and free us from being bound to and conditioned by our products and service and begin to influence them. Becoming Human should be the goal of our data transformation and experience design.”

“In a data-driven world, human insight is a revealing asset to understand ‘why’ things are the way they are – often driven by culture or heuristics. Signal data capture and data management (i.e. customer, actions, financials or metadata) is not new, what is new is the legalities around data management, the volume and the business implications if you leave your competitors to gain a USP through better consumer centric data management and application. In Digital, analytics provide evidence of customer action, while human insight provides a deeper understanding of the consumer mindset, experience and saliency. Those companies that focus on the latter tend to fair better with long term consumer engagement, brand love and positive bottom line ROI” added Laura Chaibi, Head of Marketing Intelligence and Syndicate Digital.

Companies across the globe are being pressured to reach high-performance targets, while justifying cross-channel spends. The overall connected ecosystem continues to grow beyond mobile, with 80% of people switching between screens to complete tasks and 38% of all customer journeys involving more than one channel of interaction.

Addressing machine learning for digital marketing success, Jad Khalil, Agency Development Manager at Google MENA said there is no exchanging a human for a robot. They are not interchangeable, but rather, complementary to each other.

Digitalks was hosted by RBBi, the Dubai-based Human-Centered Digital Consultancy in the Middle East specialising in UX, Usability, SEO, CRO, Analytics and Performance Marketing. This year’s edition was attended by more than a 100 people from the Middle East digital ecosystem.

[1] https://www.pwc.com/m1/en/publications/industry-40-survey/data-analytics-digital-trust-foundation-industry.html