29 Jan 2019Blog

To be or not to be data-driven, what steps have you taken?

data treasure map

Nowadays many companies and their top management are feeling the same pain as Shakespeare’s Hamlet. There is talk everywhere about digital disruption, rising level of competition and data being the new oil. The call to action to become data-driven is loud and clear but there is a tiny problem with that: what does it actually mean to be data-driven?

You won’t know for sure before you try it out

The answer to that is that you can not know for sure before you try it out. I’ve found this categorization very helpful (adapted from SAS):

Data-informed companies see that there is room for evolutionary improvement in their business if they would be able to incorporate data into their processes. They let data forecast what will happen in the future and then react accordingly. Predictive maintenance is a good example of this.

Data-infused companies use data to boost efficiency and guide what employees should do next. They turn mere predictions into prescriptive solutions that grab the user by the wrist and turn their attention into the right direction. In concrete terms, this means using recommendation engines on websites or Next Best Action solutions for customer service agents to name two examples.

And then there are the companies that create actual revenue out of their data. Everybody knows Google and Facebook but lots of companies have data assets that are worth of something for some other parties in their ecosystems. This could mean a retailer combining data about their sales and customer loyalty program to create a unified view of which demographics are actually buying a certain type of product, then selling that data to a manufacturer hoping to optimize their product portfolio.

So what is right for me, then?

The only way to find the answer is via systematic experimentation. Taking the first steps is sometimes difficult so to make things easier, we’ve created three service packs to help you get started on your journey.

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