Being a data-driven business is now to be expected. And rightly so. Here is a short truth… Either you make sure that your business is driven by data, or you will soon be overtaken by your competitors that are maximising the power of data...
Businesses and their teams today can only achieve growth by becoming data-driven.
So, what does it take to be data-driven? In my opinion, it is not rocket science, but a fundamental discipline that we – consciously or unconsciously – go on the journey towards being more data-driven, by implementing the fundamentals of good data management practices.
Business Intelligence (BI) has been stamped as old-fashioned, inflexible, costly, cumbersome and quite unnecessary as we have now got new exciting and agile technologies. With the advent of machine learning, AI, Big Data, advanced analytics, IoT, which can accelerate the company’s maturity on the data-driven curve.
How will your business be data-driven?
Here, I must be the one who destroys the good mood by telling a slightly longer version of the truth about what it takes for a business to be data-driven.
Machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, advanced analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and similar technologies are fundamentally based on data - something as simple as zeros and ones. We can collect data, leverage (existing!) data and compile data in a sensible and meaningful way, which can be acted upon, which determines whether a business is data-driven or not.
The journey towards becoming data-driven is like building a rocket, but it starts with solid business intelligence craftsmanship and the ability to leverage and act on data – no matter how complex you plan your journey to be.
At the end of the day, anyone who wants to can build a rocket – you can even do it yourself. Perhaps you only need your ‘rocket’ to be fired once, but then it will become expensive and time consuming to take off on your data-driven journey the next time you are required.
The journey towards being data-drivenTherefore, you need to find a partner who is a professional rocket builder, a partner that has the expertise to pull knowledge and insights out of data, which you can act on helping you to create further business value.
The right partner is one that has a good method of building a solid rocket, that can be safely fired and which you can continue to build as your business develops and your needs change. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't make sense to be driven by data on the wrong basis and in the wrong direction, so to speak. Your partner will guide you here.
They will have the expertise, experience and proven ways to take you safely on the journey towards being data-driven and will consider key factors that help to determine whether you're achieving the expected return on investment.
You should also…
- Find the right technical solution and architecture, that you can easily build on
- Choose the right method for conceptual modulation and visualization
- Look for a solution with an intuitive and easy-to-understand dashboard, which ensures that you can analyse and act on the data it presents
- Take care of user adoption, it’s very important – make sure that it is useable in everyday life for your team
- Select and put together your BI team and processes wisely – this must steer your journey in the right direction
- Good data in, good data out – you should set up processes that ensure that your solution always runs with accurate data
- Introduce an efficient and easy support setup for the solution, whether internal or with external assistance
So – to summarise, whether you are successful on the journey towards becoming data-driven, depends 100% on the ability to collect, utilise and act on your data.
The discipline has been the driver for business intelligence for years and it will continue to be the driver for all new technologies – whether they are called machine learning, AI, Big Data, advanced analytics, IoT, or something completely new.
In return – if you get the right rocket built from the start – you will have a strong base in place to take advantage of these new technologies, without having to start all over again, or make expensive and time-consuming backflow and stud shooters!