For a modern enterprise, the evolution into a truly data-driven organization may not be a straightforward road. There’s no pause or reset button to transform the day-to-day operations of an organization, and there’s no guarantee that transforming how data is used will result in an immediate difference to your bottom line. However, taking a close look at success stories and the paths others have taken can help you unlock new data insights and agility. Start by embracing a culture that views data as a foundational value for business.
The idea of becoming a data-focused company is mentioned in the same context as updating data warehouses and implementing new IT systems to take advantage of increasingly complex data sources. Although these are all part of data modernization, a true data culture is best realized when the value of data is embraced by the key business stakeholders as well as the technical and implementation architects.
The value of a data-driven organization is not simply found in small victories, such as a batch processing job reduced from hours to minutes by embracing distributed computing platforms and replacing legacy mainframes. For an insurance company, value is measured by the increase in the number of claims it can process; for a bank, it’s measured by its new avenues for fraud protection. For any industry, the value needs to go beyond the nuts and bolts of the system improvements and focus directly on the organization’s business goals.
A culture empowered by data is not merely one that has implemented transformations in its business and systems. The day-to-day decisions that key stakeholders make are empowered by a rich set of analytics that gives more than just numbers—it provides insight. Data culture uses analytics to go beyond static bar charts and Excel workbooks on shared drives.
With the rise of big data platforms and real-time processing, businesses driven by data take advantage of up-to-date analytics that aren’t just a view into what happened in the past, but also show what’s currently happening. Data is no longer a glimpse into what-was analytics; now it encompasses predictive and prescriptive models that answer future questions and allow users to experiment with “what if” scenarios. Domain experts drive key processes by utilizing the results of data science. Data-driven cultures thrive by gaining clarity on every corner of the enterprise and looking for ways to optimize.
For every business, there’s a customer. A data-focused culture is on a relentless pursuit of ways to satisfy and offer the best experiences to their customers—whoever they are. For an enterprise retailer, a data-driven organization takes advantage of clickstream and contextual data to make personalized offers directly relevant to their consumers’ interests.
By keeping the customer as the main focus, your business stays directly on target, adjusting to changing demands in an agile manner. Data-driven companies are not surprised by changes—because they’ve forecasted for them, analyzing past data and aggregating the best possible data sources to constantly be sure they’re offering the best products and services.
It may not be an easy process to turn your enterprise into one that thrives on a culture of data, but the benefits are crucial to your success. Once you weave a data focus into all facets of your business, you’ll find yourself empowered to improve in ways you haven’t yet imagined.
To learn more about integrating data into your business, read this white paper about the function and value of data warehouses.