“He who controls the present, controls the past. He who controls the past, controls the future.”
One of the benefits of the expanding analytical capabilities being created is the rise of a Culture of Evidence. A Culture of Evidence is to increase the use of reliable, factual information in decision making. In creating a Culture of Evidence, one needs the evidence or data. Data Analytics can quickly produce the required evidence in ways that were not possible only a few years ago. The intent of the implementation of a Culture of Evidence is to make organizations more rational (it can never be totally rational). The data driven decisions will guide decision makers to the best, rational decisions based on what is known.
Unfortunately, the supply of required evidence will be produced by good old irrational humans.
The analysts supplying the needed evidence will become very powerful as what they provide will influence the decision makers. By power, I mean the ability have others do what you want. In this case, it does not require an official position of authority. The analysts will define the present, control how the past is viewed and guide what the future will be. It does not require anything dramatic. Merely shifting the emphasis of data can change the direction of an organization. This tactic has been used for years in all large organizations and politics.
This raises the age old question of who watches the watchers? Data Analytics can create tremendous good or do equal harm. Data Analytics cannot be believed as a benevolently neutral source. Intentional or not, there will always be a slant. Leaders must utilize Data Analytics without abdicating their wisdom.