Being a data-driven enterprise means leveraging data to gain valuable insights about your business. Through data, you can improve adaptability, which sharpens your competitive edge. Data-driven insights provide you with a foundation for making market predictions and adjusting your business to accommodate, which can ultimately lead to revenue growth. Data cannot offer answers to all of your problems – but becoming a data-driven enterprise is a solid foundation for reaching your organisational goals.
What is a data-driven enterprise?
A data-driven enterprise involves more than number-crunching. To remain relevant in today’s digital economy, your team needs to create sustainable value for your customers and run innovative and efficient services. To achieve this, you must encourage everyone in your business to incorporate a data-driven approach to their work.
Data and analytics improve efficiencies and drive innovation, which changes the landscape for your team’s planning. Embedding a data culture involves a top-down approach to how your colleagues consume data. Incorporating data as a resource throughout all levels of your team ensures those insights are developed, leading to new product innovations and, as a result, financial gains. Cultivating a data-driven enterprise goes beyond working with the right tools and applications. It involves data and analytics becoming a fundamental part of your overall operational strategy. Analytics must become the foundation of every team member’s decision process, regardless of their department.
Gain valuable insights
Data can help you reshape your interactions with your customers. For your team to be entirely data-driven, your data must be:
- Accurate – updates automatically in real-time.
- Accessible – available to all of your stakeholders through a central database.
- Integrated – incorporated into your team’s current processes.
Yet, many companies struggle to make sense of their data to create value. Your data needs to work for you with actionable insights which drive your outcomes. Data, information and insights are not synonyms – it is a hierarchy with data as the foundation of the business pyramid. Data is raw and unprocessed facts found in databases and spreadsheets. Information is data that you process, aggregate and organise to provide further context beyond numbers. Insights are then generated by analysing the information and developing a conclusion. Valuable insights promote action. You achieve data-driven success through actionable insights. When considering how actionable your data insights are, consider:
- Alignment – ensure your insights align with your strategic goals.
- Benchmarking – give your data context.
- Relevance – deliver data to the right person at the right time.
- Clarity – your data has to be clearly understood to be adopted.
Valuable data insights can yield high returns for your team by offering segmentation and marketing to appeal directly to customers’ needs and interests.
We live in an era of extraordinary and accelerating change. Technology is evolving at a rapid pace beyond what many individuals can handle. To remain relevant in an exceedingly competitive environment, you must adapt. Adaptability is the new competitive advantage. Your team has to master the art of learning new things to foster rapid adaptation. Those that adapt have recognised the benefits of experimenting rapidly, frequently and economically with products, services, business models, and processes. They have learnt how to unlock their most considerable resources through data.
Staying agile has never been more critical. Adaptability involves anticipating problems and adjusting your strategy to offer solutions quickly. Data insights only become powerful when they support change; you must be able to leverage your information to adapt and create meaningful action. Adaptability needs to become an in-house competency where your team quickly deciphers what is changing and redeploys. For that reason, adaptability is imperative for the data leaders of today as data is an essential part of driving value. To adapt is to make intelligent choices about what is vital and avoid unnecessary complexities. Adapting to the latest standards needs to happen in real-time across all levels of your workforce hierarchy.
Data drives revenue
Data is the new weapon in your arsenal, driving new streams of income. It is the central aspect of any decision-making process, providing quantitative reasoning and empowering your team to make smarter decisions. Everyone can leverage data and achieve operational goals. More enterprises are leveraging data to turn insights into profits.
You can create revenue from data with three business models; these are:
- Data as a Service (DaaS) – your customers enhance their positions through raw data. You choose how to price the data.
- Information as a Service (IaaS) – you process the data and turn it into valuable insights resulting in specific customer-focused products. Customers pay for ideas because they do not have the resources or time to do it themselves.
- Answer as a Service (AaaS) – data provides specific answers to questions or needs.
To be successful, you must have customer satisfaction at your core. Using data-driven insights to understand your customers’ needs, putting them first, allows you to evolve your products proactively. Leveraging data and analytics drives customer acquisition, retention and growth. Amazon, Netflix and Google are prime examples of companies that have built empires around a nucleus of customer analytics and data. Customers demand a superior experience, and this determines how successful you are when compared to others in your field.
To increase revenue, you turn your data insights into valuable customer-service offerings. The amount of data we create and access is growing exponentially to predict rather than guess future behaviour accurately. Small improvements can reap significant benefits. With data-driven insights, you can track fluctuations in the market and make accurate predictions for inventory planning, production speed and cost reduction. Price points remain competitive but still profitable through predictive technology. Data is the secret to long-term success.
How do you build your data-driven enterprise?
To become data-driven, you must maximise the benefits of your data. You need efficient processes to turn data into action and actions back into data. However, data is a means, not an end.
To build a data-driven organisation, you should consider these nine steps:
- Define your end goals (in business terms) and how data will inform each step.
- Set tangible, metrics-driven KPIs – provide measurable and quantified targets to keep your data-driven culture on track.
- Design a team-wide strategy where you use data to evaluate every decision.
- Make data accessible – to embrace a data culture, your team needs access to data.
- Train everyone in your team to use and interpret data correctly.
- Create a pool of meaningful data – embed data into your team’s culture. Here you need to consistently collect data and provide a data hub for your colleagues.
- Become data-empowered – put processes in place to highlight how you leverage data, which ensures you can review any concerns and promote better decision making.
- Act on future predictions by leveraging data to make tactical decisions which you can quickly test.
- Continually improve your data tech stack.
Creating a data-driven team starts with culture change; this includes early adoption from all employees and provides significant value to your customers and stakeholders. Data will assist with measuring your success. Moreover, you remain competitive because you know what your customers’ needs are and can preempt those needs. You can cater to your customers by optimising resources and innovating flexibly within changing markets.
Notwithstanding the above, there are three common challenges you may face when becoming data-driven; these are:
- Deciding what to track – you need to think beyond tracking profit value and consider all other elements which can add value.
- Lacking the tools or time to collate data – paper-based capture or excel spreadsheets are time-consuming and reliant on manual labour.
- Inability to turn data into meaningful insights – typically, you may only interrogate data when you need an answer to a specific question. In-depth insights can help you proactively identify trends.
Long-term success requires cultural change, moving from intuition-based decisions to data-driven decisions, allowing you to develop a strong foundation for building a modern data architecture that scales with your future business growth.
Walk the Data-Driven Journey with LimePoint
Your data sits within all sorts of silos, inside or even outside your corporate systems. You might have a financial application, some line of business applications built in-house, an ERP, and then dozens of SaaS applications different teams are using.
The first step to being data-driven is connecting and integrating your applications, and ensuring your data can flow securely and quickly.
At LimePoint, we leverage global best platforms from Kong and Confluent to drive the API, data and integration plane in the enterprise. We can help you build the foundations of your data-driven enterprise. If you would like help with your enterprise data needs, please get in touch with us.