Do you look at other businesses that are data-driven and wonder how they got there?
Updated: May 30
Whenever we ask businesses who they perceive to be using data well, we always hear the same names. Amazon. Ocado. UBER & ASOS.
This is followed quickly by - but we are not that sort of business.
And I’d probably agree. There are very few Amazons and Ocados. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use some of the same techniques and approaches with data to use data well and become a data-driven company.
Let’s go back a bit. Amazon originated as a digital business in 1995. The internet became commercially available in 1983 so it was well established by the time Jeff Bezos started Amazon. Amazon has never (until recently that is) traded in a bricks and mortar environment. Ocado, ASOS and UBER are similar. Both launching as digital-only businesses in a digitally competent and confident market. They are inherently digital-first and data-first.
Starting with no physical legacy and historical systems gave businesses such as these the ability to design the data environment and landscape so suit their business ambitions. A data architect’s utopia! So putting data and data-driven decisions right at the heart of the business meant that considerations such as data accessibility, reporting and insight functionalities and data-literate leadership were in the blueprint. No transformation was required.
Businesses that originated in bricks and mortar, or have long histories with legacy systems, face different challenges in their approach and journey to becoming data-driven. But they are not insurmountable.
Assuming you are one of the many businesses looking to transform to be data-driven then these three questions will help you identify what you need to do and where you need to focus to achieve such transformation. From a data landscape perspective. And a cultural perspective.
1) How do you make business decisions today and how do you want to be making decisions in future?
Having clarity on decision-making processes across your business helps identify the opportunity for improving them. How much is on intuition or macro sales numbers? Do you have clarity of the facts you need and want to make more informed decisions?
Looking at the role data can fill to provide you with more facts and insights provides a good starting point to how you envisage your business being data-driven.
You can then structure your business to serve the data you need to be more efficient, reaching the answers you need quickly and correctly the first time, driving a positive impact on your revenues.
2) What type of information do you have currently, what do you need (and why) and what do you need to do to make that information accessible?
Get to know what data and tech you have access to in your business currently. What is being captured, at what point in the customer journey, and where is it actually being managed and maintained? We speak to many businesses who are not fully aware of their data assets and this is a key starting point.
Then establish what type of data you want or need, and why. Building these out as use cases helps give the context and business rationale for the data ensuring compliance with GDPR.
Mapping the current vs. the ambition enables you to identify the gaps and design a strategy to fill them. This may involve collecting new data, manipulating the data already within your business to make it more usable for your needs, or looking at how the data is served and presented in the business to make decisions possible.
3) What skills do you have in your business today and what do you envisage you’ll need to support your transformation to data-driven decision making?
Start capturing what you need your people to do using data - is it creating graphs and dashboards from the data available, or it is interpreting them and communicating the actions or decisions to be made as a result of the numbers? There may be an underlying tech layer that needs specific expertise which you may need to recruit against, but data literacy is a key skill to be harnessed amongst all employees to build confidence and competence in using data to make decisions. In all job roles.
For We Are MoJo, these questions are at the heart of learning to lead and run your business with a data mindset. By cultivating a data mindset throughout your teams, you will transform into a data-driven organisation much like the Amazons, Ocados and ASOSs of the world.
We Are MoJo has helped many businesses navigate their journey to be data-driven, leading and cultivating a data mindset. Get in touch if we can help you via LinkedIn or on email at email@example.com