Are you ready to embark on the journey of becoming a data-driven company?
According to the Deloitte Insights report in 2019, only 37 percent of executives felt confident that their companies are relatively data-driven.
As global uncertainty is rising, and businesses need to adapt to the new normal, data and marketing analytics are unprecedentedly critical for us as entrepreneurs to survive and grow.
A powerful data analytics platform does not only facilitate educated decision making, but it also enables the company to be resilient and capable to respond to changes rapidly as the market trends evolve. For example, this will allow you to prioritize and shift investments into profitable business ideas, pursue profitable segments, or even discover new untapped markets or opportunities.
Here is the challenge that many businesses still struggle with.
In our era of BIG DATA, it is all about the quality and ability to capitalize on the overwhelming amount of data, both structured and unstructured, to generate valuable insights.
The solution is also here – a robust analytics platform with an integrated approach to handle the complex datasets from different channels and within the organization.
It is the age of dissonance. We must accept the ever-changing circumstances in a patient and persistent way both in our personal and professional life. And we certainly have to embrace the fact that data will lead our business decisions in 2020 and beyond.
Insights and analytics have been on the priority investment list for years, and this trend is about to stay. However, according to the Gartner survey 2019-2020, 76 percent of marketing organizations still grapple with optimizing and advancing their data and analytics capabilities.
Only 44 percent of marketers have access to the quality data they need. These results are certainly food for thought.
Essentially, the companies that can do better and act faster in transforming into a data-driven organization will gain a competitive edge and be able to stay ahead of their peers.
Let’s look at the four key elements required to transform your organization into a data-driven entity:
Consolidate your data storage
We can compare building an insights-driven organization to constructing a building. Firstly, we start with the fundamental infrastructure that comprises of a unified data storage.
This will enable a holistic view of your business. The data warehouse you choose should be adaptable to your company’s growth and scalable at the speed of your business.
Consolidating the data into a single location could be challenging as it comes highly unstructured – in any type, form, and many layers. It could require different systems or codes to talk to, manage, and optimize data in the storage.
One of the most challenging obstacles to becoming a data-driven organization is related to data governance and quality. Hence, when you evaluate your next data warehouse solution, look for the following key functionalities: data validation, cleansing, and enriching, anomaly detection, and even machine learning algorithms to automate data cleaning and validation.
Build an integrated data ecosystem
The quality of insights you will achieve depends on the comprehensiveness of your integrated data ecosystem. The unified data storage should be interfaced with a number of systems and channels including your company’s ERP, website and mobile app, CRM and marketing management system, social media, and any other tool that is essential for your business productivity.
In 2019, over 60 percent of the organizations relied on structured data from internal systems/resources. Just 18 percent utilized unstructured data such as comments from social media, video, pictures, etc., to extract key insights for their business.
Combining various types of data from multiple sources into your data warehouse is a complex task. However, the sooner you can start, the better for your business effectiveness. Leveraging data has the potential to substantially increase your revenue. But obtaining valuable insights goes beyond the four walls of your company. It is a comprehensive process with the customer in the center.
Additionally, data integration is a prerequisite for transformation and automation. If you manage to achieve it, it will help you enhance your overall operational efficiency.
Use powerful data analytics tools
Powerful analytics tools enable companies to make sense of the vast data they have to analyse in order to generate actionable insights.
Those insights can be used to improve customer experience, streamline the company’s business processes, help develop strategy, or even provide new product development ideas. Undeniably, analytics has become a core capability of any business in this digital world. Nevertheless, the quality of insights is impacted largely by the robustness of the data analytics model used.
The data analytics tools should be able to provide reports and dashboards in real-time. When you choose analytics models, these are some questions you should consider:
1. Does the design of the analytics model fit in your business model and KPIs?
2. Can the report and data be pulled in real-time?
3. Is it user friendly and easy to use?
4. Is it designed to support automated reports?
Lead with a data-driven culture
Finally, for a data-driven approach to be successfully implemented, a company needs to cultivate a data-driven culture across all departments. Relying only on highly technical teams is a recipe for disaster.
Companies should break the silo mindsets across the departments and encourage all employees to be data-driven by using analytics for decision-making. Everyone, at all levels, should be comfortable accessing data, running a report, or making use of data, which can only be achieved by having the executive champion, in many cases this role is taken by the CEO.
In the same Deloitte 2019 survey we mentioned before, organizations that have a strong data-driven culture and employee awareness of analytics are more likely to exceed their business goals. And the companies that have their CEO as a champion are 77 percent more likely to have significantly exceeded their business goals, while 59 percent reply that they are more likely to derive actionable insights from the analytics they are tracking.
Ok, we must admit there is no single formula on how to go successfully through the process of transformation. Be ready for some challenges along the way.
For example, in many companies, the technologies and systems are used for fragmented functions of the business and they are not able to talk to each other without good modeling, code, software, or hardware in place. Another challenge could be the limited functionalities and narrow analytical capabilities, which are not sufficient to meet the needs and requirements of your business.
Successfully implementing a data-driven strategy yields far more rewards that spread across the business, its employees, and customers. Gathering the right insights will provide the company with personalized customer experiences and the ability to better target and acquire new customers. On top of that, it will be able to achieve operational efficiency.
So, what is next?
Focus on finding the right partner for your digital transformation journey. In the world we live in, technology is not a matter of choice, it is simply a necessity that will drive us all forward as businesses, as humans, and as a society.