We live in a data-rich, data-enabled world.
Our transition to this from the past has been relatively rapid and predominantly initiated as a result of:
Digitisation of information has been possible and in many instances a necessity to store, manage and access information efficiently and accurately.
Consumers want more flexibility and choice in how they interact with a business - from their buying models to how they contact customer services.
Technological advances have enabled the digitalisation of services.
These evolutions have all contributed to the data-rich world we live in today and are a key driver in businesses being able to be more data-driven.
So how are businesses adapting to these changes and leveraging the potential open to them?
Migrating from legacy systems to new platforms
Many established businesses need to migrate from legacy processes and systems into digitally-enabled solutions to undertake what is commonly referred to as digital transformation.
It may materialise operationally as a shortening the response to a customer service query, improving a supply chain process or it may materialise in customer-facing assets such as enabling customers to manage their bookings online or tailoring subscription benefits to different customers based on their preferences.
From the data and tech perspective it this may include data lakes, single customer view processing, marketing automation platforms, CRM solutions and ERP upgrades.
The ambitions you have for the business and your use cases for change influence the tech platform choices you make to deliver your use cases. The data you are collecting enable your use cases to be actioned. So how the data is stored, processed and presented is a key part of this transformation.
Making data and digital core to the business requires investment and business change but it can deliver a competitive advantage for those who succeed and deliver it well.
Many businesses are employing Chief Data Officers (CDO) to lead the charge for data in their business. Having access to this skillset enables businesses to organise themselves to understand what data journey is right for them, and makes it happen. Elevating data to the top table in leadership meetings means the business cannot hide from the impact data can have on decisions and performance and will be best informed to embrace the cultural change that is often needed when a business is transforming to be data-enabled.
Businesses are waking up to the need for data governance to successfully leverage the data in their business. Much as a manufacturing company makes sure their production lines are efficient and accurate for consistency of product, businesses are realising they need to make sure their data is accurate, compliant and fit for purpose to serve customers well.
Definitely not seen as the sexy side of data, but an essential cog in the transformation journey businesses have been on.
There are increasingly accessible training courses on data literacy (including our one) as it is recognised that this is a key skill to provide people with the confidence to ask the right questions of the data and then interpret the outputs such as reports, charts and analysis to drive decisions making.
Marks and Spencer were one of the first retail businesses to launch a widespread data literacy training programme to upskill its staff from store managers through to buying, recognising that it could only leverage its data if its employees were confident interpreting and using the outputs.
By adapting to the changes businesses are able to transform to be data-driven. Using the data in their businesses to make decisions that improve the product, the operations and the customer experiences.
Research from McKinsey Global Institute states that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain those customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result.
Conversely, you could argue that by not embracing this change businesses will cease to exist - they will lose customers, fail to attract new ones and fall behind their competitors.
Who wouldn’t want to join the revolution!
But what if your pockets are not as deep as your competitors, nor your resource as specialist?
You can still take your business on a journey to be digitally, and by consequence, data-driven.
When We Are MoJo work with a client to design and implement their data strategy we look at these core areas to identify the roadmap that is right for their business journey:
Having sponsorship at the top of your organisation. The leaders and senior decision-makers need to be open and supportive of the change the business will undertake to achieve its ambitions. Digital and data transformation is not just a technology migration but a cultural migration as well and needs to be aligned to the business strategy and championed throughout the organisation and to be successful.
Whilst this is often the remit of the CDO, we recognise that many SME businesses do not have someone in this role, and so it falls to other individuals in the business who are not data specialists.
We work with businesses to fulfil the role of a CDO, to build on their vision, identifying the requirements, the use cases and the measures of success to articulate your data strategy goals. We bring the leaders and senior decision-makers on the journey and ensures their commitment and support. This is something you can start to develop internally to articulate the vision and what is needed to make this a reality.
Understanding your data capabilities and ecosystem. You may have access to BI and know that operations are being delivered, but not the nuts and bolts of their data landscape or how it could drive growth and efficiencies. Gaining clarity on the data assets, technology and processes that underpin your businesses will enable you to understand where you are today, relative to your ambitions, and shape the data strategy to focus the jobs to be done to get you to your goals.
One of the challenges in achieving this clarity is the disconnect between the person who looks after the data and the business. They may as well talk in different languages!
We can take the pain of this away and create an understanding of your data landscape, capabilities and governance processes. Only once you know this do you know what you can truly enable today and what capabilities you need to develop or what tech you need to invest in, to thrive tomorrow. Creating a roadmap of the jobs to be done to reach your ambitions focuses the delivery on urgent, short term and longer-term impacts.
To do this internally, start by mapping out what you know - what data is being collected, where is it coming from and where is it going? Once you have this view you can start to build additional layers to identify who is using the data and for what purposes, and what opportunities are there to get more value from your data.
Whose job it is to look after data? Who is responsible for capturing it accurately? Who processes it and documents it? Governance and master data management need to be addressed and understood in your organisation, not least to ensure compliance with prevailing legislation.
By understanding your vision and data ecosystem, we recommend the roles your organisational structure needs to protect the value of your data. And don’t worry that you are suddenly doing to have to hire a big team of data stewards, the roles and responsibilities are linked to your business size and data ecosystem.
An initial task would be to assess your current data management structure - who is looking after the data and what is happening to it, are there any errors occurring as a result of poor decisions? By doing this you will get an idea if that is sufficient for your needs or do if need to invest in this further.
Empowering their people with the tools and techniques to be data-driven. This is where the magic happens. And it is not saying your people all need to be data scientists. They don’t. It is saying they need to be confident interpreting charts and tables, identifying gaps and opportunities in the reports and analysis to make informed decisions to grow your business. Day to day they will make improvements that will drive your growth and help you beat your competitors to that No 1 spot.
This is an oft-neglected area that can determine the success or failure of your businesses journey to be data-driven. You can buy a Rolls-Royce but if you can’t drive, it just looks grand on your driveway. You don’t want your investment in digital and data transformation to be an unused Rolls-Royce.
We identify the gaps and training needs for data literacy in your teams, coaching and supporting them to plug the gaps increasing your teams’ abilities and confidence in using data. There are a number of free resources such as https://thedataliteracyproject.org/ that you can use to start to understand your teams' literacy and what training is needed to plug these gaps.
Developing in these areas your business can plan and deliver against its journey to be data-driven, whether you are an SME or an Enterprise business.
Growing further, faster.
With decisions based on fact, not intuition.
Beating the competition.
Get in touch if we can help you get there - firstname.lastname@example.org