Data fraud is happening in your boardroom and why there’s never been more need for creative firewalls.

Agency people – don’t make yourself obsolete to Ai. Heard that one lately? Thing is, I mean this in a violently different way to most.

News stuff abound regarding the ad industry’s relentless and nervously fought war against data monoliths from Amazon and Facebook to the now defunct Cambridge Analytica.

So how many meetings have you been in lately whereby the presenter is just regurgitating numbers from one or several sources into a PowerPoint slide? For me, it feels like an hourly occurrence.

So when we talk about Ai replacing jobs, aren’t these presentations and their authors just sitting ducks for AI? All they’ve done is to decant one load of figures from one slide into another.

Or put another way, like machine learning is never going to happen.

I’m now numbed to the assertion that creativity is irrelevant nowadays and data rules from people who are merely conduits or couriers for the very information other people extensively (and often illegally) mine and purvey. No imagination, no vision, no originality – just envoys for borrowed info’ incorporated.

I often find myself heckling at the end of these presentations asking ‘where’s the idea that drives all these numbers in the first place?’ to bemused looks – almost as though the data is sufficient in itself. But it isn’t is it? It’s the byproduct of something greater that stirred the pot of daily life and actually stood out. A skill humans do very well if they’re creative, talented incisive and not just orators of the already documented.

If agencies are to thrive, it’s imperative that they don’t inadvertently make themselves obsolete by practicing trendy but completely replaceable and transferable methodology  – and the PowerPoint of borrowed knowledge is the classic because the info has only leapt from one computer to another in the first place – so no human needed.

Agencies provide vision, change and stand out – business skills that can turn the tiller greatly. We aren’t accountants, statisticians or behavioural scientists but we do use our own unique skill set to capture, inspire and persuade – crucial, not extraneous traits in a numbers game currently hijacked by fraudsters.

So next time you stand up and present something, try saying something only a human can and leave the numbers to the machines. That way we might help keep these bloody data fraudsters out of our boardrooms.

Oh, and you might keep your job a lot longer too.