IDC predicts an increase of ten-fold data by the year 2025.
Make Your Business Data More Understandable
That’s a whopping 163 zettabytes of data of which 60% belongs to the various enterprises. How can you leverage this data to predict the future and harness its power?
47% of the business leaders swear by the fact that implementing Data and Analytics (D&A) strategy in their organizations has brought fundamental changes to their industries.
What about you? With many businesses still struggling to find the right mix of D&A strategies for their companies, what are you doing to capitalize on the available opportunities?
Do you know that with the revolution in the domain of data analytics, you have the potential to bring about a complete transformation to the way your company operates?
Your business data is not only the information about your products and the revenue that you earn from them.
It’s also about your customers who purchase your products and the reviews that influence their decisions in making the purchases.
Data is connected to your business in all aspects and hence should be ideally treated as a corporate asset. To value business data, you need to bring a drastic change in the way you look at your business data.
You need to implement relevant D&A strategies that have their focus on real business cases. Unless you know how to operationalize the insights you gained from the business data, you cannot turn them into actions.
1. Identify Your Business Goals
The best D&A strategy is to first ask yourself – what do you want to do better in your business. Are there any loopholes that are holding you back?
Use D&A initiatives to identify the opportunities for your business that are obtained simply by studying the buying pattern of your clients.
With D&A, you will be able to find out what your customer is looking for and how you can help. If there are additional products that you can push-sale to them and so on.
You can also predict if a customer is likely to turn away from your business so that you can take prompt action before they cancel their purchase.
2. Set Correct Expectations
A business often fails to estimate what it can do with its data. They also tend to underestimate the effort needed to use the data appropriately.
To avoid such a pitfall for your business, you have to analyze how quickly you can digitize your business data and extract the information from them.
You also have to ensure involvement from all levels of your organization. Each one should be aware of their roles in harnessing the power of data in business.
3. Use Real Case Studies to Convince Your Co-Workers
To bring D&A strategy into practice, you need to showcase real case studies as examples of the insights that your business can avail.
Use concrete examples of what can be possible with the strategy. Show practical business application and their benefits.
This will convince your co-workers about why a good D&A strategy must be implemented in your business.
A burning example is this worldwide pandemic situation. No one saw this pandemic coming.
But when it caused worldwide lockdown enforcement, most business houses could not forecast the impact such a lockdown could bring to their business.
When you use a good D&A strategy, it would help you to look ahead into the near future so that you can figure out if a shift in the business strategy is needed to optimize your company and stay afloat in the face of these trying times.
Creating case studies for a presentation can be a tedious task. Make it interesting and visually appealing with the help of a pie chart maker to predict the future of business and the impact a good D&A strategy can bring to your business.
It’s a really useful tool that makes your job easier and quicker.
4. Encourage Data Literacy in Your Organization
Engage all your departments and levels in a data literacy program. Educate your employees about how data insights are being applied in day-to-day businesses.
Involvement of the leadership is necessary otherwise such an initiative might not make an impact amongst all the stakeholders and users.
5. Use Customer-Generated Data Wisely
Apart from the internal data, use the data that is generated by the external users.
For instance, if you are an eCommerce business owner, you have access to a huge amount of customer data that can be used for reducing the stock-outs in your business and also anticipate the buying trends.
Depending on the shopping behavior pattern of your customers, you can create push marketing strategies that can increase sales opportunities and also drive more customers to your website.
Such kind of data analysis can both add value to your business and provide you with additional revenue-earning opportunities.
6. Design Policies on Data Quality
Invest in expert manpower to clean up the existing data periodically. Design procedures and policies that have their focus on the quality of the data at their entry points.
Create and maintain a good infrastructure that can help you in adjusting easily in case of additional data capture.
It is advised not to wait for that perfect data. It is ever-changing information and the way it is interpreted keeps changing regularly.
Therefore, you need not have the perfect data to get started with understanding and analyzing your data.
The D&A strategy should be such that it can be used in the long run. It should be able to fulfill all your present and future data collection requirements.
7. Coordinate between Different Business Units
Creating a D&A strategy is a complete business initiative that needs coordination amongst the business unit heads and the IT leaders of your company.
The IT leaders will be able to provide you with technological drawbacks that you need to focus on.
Whereas the business unit heads will point out the opportunities that you can get with the help of this strategy.
Only when there is proper coordination between the teams, can you connect the dots and maximize the impact of data in your business.
Challenges in Implementing a Robust D&A Strategy
Unless you align your business data with your corporate mission, it will take you more time and effort to handle business issues and find solutions for them. Some obstacles can hamper the way you can put data to work and optimize the performance of your business. Let’s learn about the obstacles first. This will give you an insight into where you stand at the moment.
a) Lack of a business data strategy
Tapping into the vast potential of Data & Analytics requires money, manpower, and of course investment of ample time on your part. The return on investment for D&A is worthwhile but it can be a tad bit difficult to convince the key decision-makers of your business in this regard. Design a business strategy that will take care of analyzing unstructured data and focus on digitizing the offline data too.
It is a huge commitment and will take time to get implemented. But once you have a D&A strategy implemented in your organization, there is no looking back. It will open up a whole world of opportunities for your business growth.
b) Quality of the business data
Often, companies do have a D&A strategy in place but the business data available to them is not at par with the D&A strategy. It might be inconsistent or incomplete, there may be cases of discrepancies and even duplications.
This can result in two huge bottlenecks for the data- the fear of getting started with the overwhelming information that the data contains and the tedious chore of cleaning up that data.
More often than not, these two roadblocks keep organizations away from leveraging the data as per the D&A strategy in their business.
c) Integration of data into appropriate workflows
Another barrier towards implementing a proper D&A strategy is that most of the time, the focus of the data gets shifted to other actionable items. The companies become busy with their business insights and thus the useful data never makes it into their workflows. That way, the data is lost in the maze of strategies without bringing any advantage to the business.
When you design a D&A strategy for your company, make sure to implement workflows that leverage these business data, which can be actioned in the long run.
How you generate the data and use it for action gives you the power to improve. It is now an open secret that when you have a smart and robust D&A strategy to back up your business data, it can result in excellent business growth.
While most organizations are still struggling to design their data policies and strategies, now is the correct time to surge ahead in the game.
When you implement the best practices for data management, you can be certain to improve your business efficiency and be able to harness what matters most for the business.
Let us know in the Comments section below what matters to you the most when it comes to understanding the business data.
Atreyee Chowdhury works full-time as a Learning Experience Designer and is passionate about writing. She has helped many small and medium-scale businesses achieve their content marketing goals with her carefully crafted content that is both informative and engaging.
She lives in Bangalore, India with her husband. She loves to read, experiment with different cuisines, travel, and explore the latest content marketing and L&D trends in her free time. You can reach her on Linkedin or write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.