Turning Data into Insights: 3 Steps to Growing Your Digital Business
To run a business, one must make decisions. To run a good business, one must make good decisions. To run an outstanding business, one must make better decisions than others in the market, maybe even creating new whitespace as a disruptor. To make good or indeed, outstanding decisions, one must have good insights.
Data is the currency of insights.
At a fundamental level, basic data management will deliver improved business outcomes. Customer data, financial data and operational data will facilitate customer engagement activity, corrective action insights for financial performance and improved operational efficiency.
Most organisations are sitting on data (both structured and unstructured) which is untapped. In addition, most organisations have not recognised the data sources within and adjacent to their environs which, if leveraged, would transform their outcomes and even transform their business model - leading to unprecedent success.
This presents a huge opportunity for those businesses to improve outcomes from even the most basic data strategies. It is imperative as we move forward in this digital business age that CIOs, whom are no longer IT leaders but now business leaders, define a data strategy for their organisations. This will deliver a maturity journey, unlocking true business transformation.
To this end, a digital data security road map is the key to success. The following represents the maturity roadmap levels that I use when engaging CXOs in this challenge. The Digital CIO must have a digital data strategy. Where are you on the digital data strategy maturity roadmap? Read below to find out:
Maturity Level 1 - Implementing Fundamental Data Practices
Whilst not the most exciting, getting the fundamentals right is incredibly important and can add immediate value to your current business model. Ensuring that data is being managed properly in areas such as sales, operations, service and finance will facilitate effective decision making. Firstly, it is critical to discover your organisational data and to classify it, allowing for data to appropriately traverse the organisation and to allow you to securely manage data, particularly with GDPR requirements now being a harsh reality.
For example, ask yourself: is customer data that may enter the organisation at different points being linked together for a single view of the customer? Then, it is important to document your data processes, to know how your data is being created and handled. You need to apply policies to give data the respect it deserves. Fundamental Data Practices and their associated initiatives will lay the foundation, allowing you to unlock data wealth.
Maturity Level 2 - Advanced Insights, Better Decisions
This is where you begin to unlock previously unseen value through your data. Through analytics and business intelligence, you can identify trends and insights which will move you from basic to better decision making. Deploy solutions which move from linear in/out processes to 360-degree data driven improvement solutions.
For example, customer interactions where data is captured and processed and then the results are analysed means that you can then refine the data capture to enable better insights on the next cycle. These self-learning and improving solutions tangibly transform business returns. Artificial Intelligence is deployed to automate processes and make decisions on data presented. Integration technologies are enabled to extend the data strategy and support digital business reach through B2B and B2C Integration Architectures.
Maturity Level 3 - Digital Business Transformation and Future Reach
This is where you want to be. This is where you can truly disrupt and change how you run your business. At this maturity level, you can deploy 360-degree actionable intelligent learning systems with real-time data analysis, AI based decision making using advanced predictive models and deliver actionable insights with actionable managed operations services. You can extend the data sources through IoT innovations in manufacturing, engineering, healthcare, services, smart-city projects and so on. You expand on the integration architecture from the previous maturity level by automating B2B and B2C digital integration through AI powered interfaces, extending your marketplace through 360-degree actionable intelligent learning systems and enabling your business to drive forward and leverage its digital assets for optimal success.
Why is this so important?
Data is an incredibly important part of succeeding on your digital journey. There are a number of things that you will need to accomplish to optimise your digital capability, with data being a vital element that will unlock your business’ ability to get ahead, stay ahead and win in your marketplace. As I said before, data is the digital currency of the future, and algorithmic excellence will separate you from the crowd. In today's business economy, you need to get to maturity level 3 or you will be left behind, watching your competitors achieve new heights while you lag behind with outdated processes and no real measurable strategy.
Put simply, if you are not on the digital journey with your data, you need to get on it now!