There is no gainsaying that a nation without right statistics to make informed decisions across business and industry, health, medicine, learning, research, social sciences and natural resources landscapes is doomed to make indecisions on critical aspects capable of thwarting her growth. Renowned statisticians such as Edwards Deming and Florence Nightingale have made us understand that having best management processes and right policies in business and health advancement need quality statistics.
Having seen important of statistics, especially in formulating good strategies at the top and managerial levels of businesses rather than bad ones, the demand for statisticians is increasing exponentially across the world, this trend shows no signs of slowing.
The Nigerian Statistical Association, the professional body of Statisticians, Economists, Planners, Demographers, Analysts and Corporate Organisations with interest in Statistics, was founded in 1976. Available evidence shows that the association has 2000 professional members and over twenty corporate members helping businesses and individuals in making relevant decisions from data.
There is no doubt that these members have created and still developing different tools for data gathering and analysis. However, the emergence of big data, the idea that data are no longer generated and analysed through conventional means anymore, but using velocity, variety and volume. A recent global survey discovers that by 2019 big data will disrupt industry, according to senior executives of businesses. In 2013, global organisational spending on big data was over $31 billion and projected to reach $114 billion in 2018. “As the volume of information circulating within organisations continues to grow exponentially, the most successful private companies and public sector organisations are those that effectively exploit their business information,” the report said.
Despite the spending, businesses are still experiencing challenges of dealing with scattered silos of data, ineffective coordination of analytics initiatives and the lack of a clear business case for Big Data. These challenges are being experienced because most companies lack the right combination of people, process, and technology for extracting values from available data. As enunciated by the experts, one of the best solutions to the challenges is to acquire big data talent through partnership or big data startups acquisition.
This is where Nigerian statistics become handy. Like other developing countries, big data is still at the infancy stage in Nigeria. Many statistics are yet to the advantage of its evolvement, especially in completing big data analysts from Information Technology and Computer Science academic and professional background.
Why are Statisticians Left Out?
Views among the professionals and academia are grounded on the fact that most Statisticians are conservative, inflexible, bad at selling themselves and afraid. Instead, they need to be more nimble, flexible and take some chances, especially acquisition of relevant technological skills and knowledge for moving from conventional data analysis and communicating the results to technology-inclined ones.