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Data is the new digital currency

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Data is the new digital currency

Every company wants to grow. I believe that there are numerous Managers, Directors and C-level Executives that imagine following the path of the Unicorns such as Netflix, Facebook or Apple. The basic question is how to achieve that. In what assets should we invest to continuously grow our business? How to set priorities on the digital transformation roadmap?

In the era of high consumerism, all companies are in true racing mode for the 1st prize and attention of the Customer. On the other hand, we, as Customers, are constantly bombarded with marketing offers through every possible communication channel. Thanks to GDPR, as Consumers, we can have a taste of what companies do with our personal data when we receive overabundance of notifications from various brands. They are using data profiling, targeting, segmentation, and bunch of other stuff as well – the list is getting only longer – to catch Customer’s attention. When you add a few scandals like Cambridge Analytica on top of that, then it becomes clear that today all that matters in business is the data. It is a new gold, a data-coin of every business in the digital era, which we all live in.

However, companies today are often data rich but information poor. Corporations are able to generate a lot of data touchpoints with its Customers. Even though they accumulate a lot of data, only few of them can craft it as an advantage on the market. Those can be called Data-Driven Enterprises, where business operations and models are built using insights generated from the data. In order to do it properly, data-oriented pillars such us comprehensive data architecture, advanced data analytics and clear data visualization come to action.

Those three pillars are the foundation of an effective data eco-system which might help build Awesome Data Products in each organization. Of course, it’s strictly related to IT solutions provided by internal team or a trusted partner but nowadays IT is a key-enabler for becoming a successful company. When I think about those pillars and what they should mean as an end-result I think about a) governed data platform supporting various Data User Stories among different business units across the organization, b) Explorative Environment to verify every hypotheses, identify future trends and test out business models in the real-time and c) data execution layer, combing Business Intelligence, Dashboards and Reporting, in a way so that day-to-day operations are easy.

If we try decomposing each of those pillars a little bit and determine what they mean to the IT department and what areas they cover, we will get a wide angle for the overview of every data area that needs to be manged in order to succeed in becoming a data-driven enterprise. I mean here aspects like introducing Data Governance foundations, choosing technology stack & toolset, designing data pipelines, building datasets with data quality/security/linage in mind, creating data models for Predictive Analytics/Machine Learning/AI algorithms and others… It is not like you need to act on each of them simultaneously, but you need to keep them in your backlog. Think big, start small.

Truly data-driven, leveraging pillars mentioned above, approach allows us to earn and spend data-coins across various touchpoints in the Customer Journey like conversion, turnover prediction, fraud detection, campaign marketing, up-selling, x-selling, retention and many, many more… For example, American Express can identify 24% accounts that will be closed within the next 4 months thanks to predictive analytics of Customers behaviour and UPS has saved 39M gallons of fuel thanks to routes optimization based on GPS telematics.

It’s up to you how you want to leverage your data. Get insight rich today or die trying because limitations like fear are often just an illusion.

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