By Ana Maloberti, Data Architect @ Big Data Studio
It has been said many times that data is the new oil. However, it is not something you have to dig deep to get, it flows naturally as a result of any business regardless of what product or service a company offers. Getting quality data and its insight is a natural continuous process. It is not an occasional effort, and it should be recognized as such, especially considering the payback this processes entail.
A recent study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that data driven organizations can expect to see 20% to 30% EBITDA(1) gains over companies that have not made the transformation. However, many companies are not prepared, or think they are data driven because they have data and a few reports and dashboards but don’t see the complete picture. They generally have a piece of the reality without context or meaning.
The transformation involves data quality and sharing, IT skills to select the correct tools, analytical skills to get insight, organizational structure, metric design, decision-making processes, and much more, but, most crucially, it is about a culture that acts on data. To really be data-driven an organization must have the right culture and processes in place to drive critical business decisions with these insights and therefore have a direct impact on the business. Analytics is not data-driven if its findings are never seriously considered or acted upon.
These initiatives can succeed only if they start small, evolve and are sustainable in time without much further costs. The end result is a unified, complete shared view of the company’s reality. If not everyone is on board sharing data and acting upon this shared and complete view, then it is not complete and they are probably making risky decisions. This is why having support from top management is important.
In short, data undoubtedly is a key ingredient, but the key is the right people with the right skills and tools to generate impactful insights and a culture to democratize data and drive the business based upon the analysis.