What does it mean to be a data driven organisation?

  • Written By WHISHWORKS
  • 31/05/2016

According to the Mckinsey Global Institute, data-driven organisations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers and 19 times more likely to be profitable. Its no surprise then, that most companies today claim to be “data-driven”, but what does a truly ‘data-driven’ company look like?

In my opinion, a data-driven company is one which understands that value of data, understands it’s sources, and utilises it to drive decisions throughout the business. This means that individuals throughout the organisation need access to the data, in a manner that they can understand, with the ability to explore it independently.

What does it mean to be a data driven organisation

These companies often talk about great use cases like data driven marketing, but the applications are almost endless – especially if both internal and external data sources are used. When using these sources, it’s important that the company doesn’t become ‘overloaded’ with data; it’s only really useful if actionable insights are derived from an analysis of it.

Likewise, the data should be used to generate tangible results, with a methodology being put in pace to help link data sources with those results. This idea leads back to the rejection of ‘canned reporting’; the bane of managers around the world who produce the same reports on a monthly basis, with no real questioning or analysis taking place on them.

This flexible and autonomous approach to data allows managers to pursue a more scientific approach to decision making; rather than making decisions and then looking for the data to support them. As decision making frameworks change, greater quantities of data can be analysed, as well as different types. 

Specialised analytics technologies allow IT teams not only to gather and interpret this data, but to draw predictive insights on everything from sales, to finance, or supply chains. Moving forward, this development of predictive analytics will continue to change the way businesses view data; simply capturing historical updates will no longer provide a competitive edge.

To become a data driven company, organisations need to trust their data – having duplicate or missing records will simply become intolerable. A data governance program might be the first step on the road to success, but all employees will need to take responsibility for maintaining and enhancing the usability of the company’s digital assets.

Technologies such as MuleSoft’s Anypoint platform can help to improve data integrity, but in my opinion, a complete change in the way companies capture and maintain data will be required in order to pursue an existence as a truly data driven company.

If you would like to find out more about how Big Data could help you make the most out of your current infrastructure while enabling you to open your digital horizons, do give us a call at +44 (0)203 475 7980 or email us at marketing@whishworks.com

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