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Transforming into a data-driven business

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Data has become a vital piece of the strategic puzzle for every organisation. It enables a company to extract insights and monetise its data to deliver a differentiated customer engagement experience. And yet, according to this recent industry article I came across citing Gartner research, this is only a relatively new realisation.

Data specialists know that effective data usage can put a company in the driving seat towards success. The author of this insightful piece explores this notion by examining how to become a data-driven business through establishing the right mindset and supporting it with underlying analytical capabilities.

Fundamentally, data is a key asset for future success and must be treated as such.

Much of the likelihood for success stems from the company’s ability to handle and manage data like any other business asset. Although generating data from multiple sources is imperative, it involves more than just gathering the information from traditional sources. As this piece emphasises, decision-makers must leverage the likes of social media, customer engagement systems, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to create the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning systems that can improve and execute operations.

The article further highlights how data should be leveraged to get value from it. Aspects such as data-driven decision-making, focusing on the return on investment, becoming more future-focused, and embracing technologies like AI and analytics are all enablers in this regard.

It is about more than collecting endless amounts of data, the author writes. Instead, the value comes from data extraction and analysis – things data specialists like myself are very passionate about. Changing the business mindset requires embracing the idea of IT and operational technology needing to be converged across the organisation. This helps break down the traditional, siloed approach of storing data and keeping it in isolation of other company divisions.

Of course, this will inevitably result in a more complex infrastructure environment given how pervasive data will be throughout the company. It is one thing to understand the value of data assets and another entirely to fully transition to a data-driven enterprise. Even so, data is the currency used to facilitate analysis and insights. Therefore, it is imperative for an organisation to develop a central data strategy and approach that incorporates all the necessary data elements, including governance, if they are to fully derive value from this asset.

Underlining all this focus on data and its utilisation, solid data management principles must still be applied. This extends to quality management, traceability, source system controls, and the previously mentioned data governance.

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