Real estate, people, even high-tech and industrial equipment have long been considered prized corporate assets, and you can now add corporate data to that list. But data alone isn’t enough to transform business strategy or drive more intelligent decision making. Organizations must nurture a culture that recognizes data as true organizational business currency in order to reap the greatest returns.
There’s little doubt organizations see data as critical to their future. According to a survey of 2,300 global business and IT leaders by MIT Technology Review Insights, in association with Pure Storage®, 86% of respondents believe data is the foundation for making better business decisions and 83% are committed to analyzing data as much as possible to gain competitive advantage. In fact, 86% of large, multinational companies are using data in new, innovative ways.
It’s not just large multinationals that are sold on a data-driven future: Eighty-one percent of survey respondents agreed that creative analytics were essential for delivering a competitive edge even for smaller firms, and 79% say SMBs are under pressure to keep up with the pace of change.
The desire to transform data into corporate currency is rooted in the belief that it can help orchestrate positive change. In one example, 86% of survey respondents are parlaying their data reserves into tailored solutions and experiences that improve customer loyalty and extend their lifetime value.
A Roadmap for Success
The reality is, however, data doesn’t magically transform into a corporate asset overnight. Organizations have to evolve their culture to link of data analytics with future success, while also creating processes and practices to encourage data sharing and collaboration. With that in mind, here are a few best practices to consider:
- Put a premium on data governance.One of the more overused phrases these days is “garbage in, garbage out,” but data quality certainly becomes a mandate in this new world. Not all data is equal — so establishing data as a corporate asset means organizations must understand exactly what data is valuable to key business goals, what data they have, and more importantly, what data they are missing. Formalizing processes to clean and classify data so it’s ready for analysis is another imperative as is leveraging automation tools to optimize the processes.
- Build out a data-savvy talent bench.Most organizations are light on data science talent and analytics experts. This means companies must work with their HR organizations to promote new hiring and retention practices designed to attract highly skilled workers, and/or consider investing in their existing talent with training and new skill development. At the same time, they should ramp up training and embrace tools that make analytics more accessible to mainstream business users, not just data experts.
- Break out of the data silo mentality. A true data-driven culture encourages widespread data sharing instead of rewarding business fiefdoms. Along with advocacy from the C-suite, management should tie promotions and raises to key milestones associated with data collaboration and regularly measure the results. It’s also essential to highlight key successes so individual departments and groups see the direct results of sharing data for organizational milestones.
Data may be plentiful, but organizations can easily drown in the deluge if they don’t take the time to seed a data-driven culture. Only then can they take a modern-day commodity and transform it into digital business success.
For more information about Pure Storage visit www.purestorage.com/evolution.