Your data accessibility problem is costing you $65 million

We know that better insights from big data will improve just about every aspect of our company. For most, however, the data silos are still a major issue and a full digital transformation is more concept that reality.

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Historically, the race for an edge using big data was about piping in as many data feeds as humanly possible and getting access to that data as close to real-time as possible. A lot of time and investment has been spent solving API access and data latency problems.

As we dig one level deeper, however, it would appear we’ve focused entirely too much attention on the accumulation and storage of the sea of big data and not nearly enough time ensuring the full accessibility of that data.

According to Forrester, less than 0.5% of all data is ever analyzed and used. And yet, in a recent webinar hosted by InfoTrust, Richard Joyce, Senior Analyst at Forrester, said that “Just a 10% increase in data accessibility will result in more than $65 million additional net income for a typical Fortune 1000 company.”

In other words, for all the talk about data-driven business models, we still have quite a long way to go in order to realize the true impact of big data on our bottom line.

Problem #1: your employees don’t trust your data

Another fascinating quote from Forrester’s Joyce was, “While 78% of marketers believe that data-driven marketing is embedded or strategically a part of their organization, 70% believe they have poor quality or inconsistent customer data.”

In the world of big data, perception very quickly becomes reality. If the majority of your team believes that they have poor quality or inconsistent customer data, they are not likely to use that wealth of data that you’ve invested so heavily in. Data accessibility comes in more than one flavor. Sure, you must make sure that your employees have access to the data that will help them make better decisions, but if they don’t believe what they are seeing, they are far less likely to take action on it.

Problem #2: most companies are still dabbling in Big Data

Conceptually, we know that better insights from big data will improve just about every aspect of our company. For most, however, the data silos are still a major issue and a full digital transformation is more concept that reality. “Digital transformation is a critical component to data accessibility,” says Michael Loban, CMO at InfoTrust “Completing your digital transformation by definition means you have not only made your data accessible, but usable. You know you’ve arrived when everyone in your company has access to the data they need at the right time to help them make better decisions – without the typical silos or hierarchical bottlenecks.”

Problem #3: lack of data integration and poor data supply chain

Incomplete deployment of technology solutions usually means that all available data is not being collected as intended. This is especially true when it comes to the myriad of tracking pixels deployed on your website. When’s the last time you verified that each tracking pixel: (1) Is still being used by your company and should still be on your website, (2) Is firing correctly and has not been negatively impacted by other tracking pixels recently deployed, and (3) Is collecting all available data at a 99.5% uptime or better? Often when tracking pixels go down we don’t find out about the lack of data collection for days if not weeks later.  A poorly implemented tracking pixel can cause problems with the others that were added a long time ago (and usually have not been checked, monitored or validated ever since).

A poor analytics supply chain - which starts at the quality of the data itself and finishes with the decisions you make with this data - leaves you with irrecoverable details about your customers or transactions, corrupted data points and potentially erroneous decision making that can hit the bottom line. All of these factors contribute to the $65 million data accessibility problem.

Solving the $65 million problem for good

The first step to solving any problem is to begin by clearly defining the root cause of the problem. At the very heart of this issue is a lack of clarity around the negative impact of data accessibility. Until Forrester put a dollar value on the problem, it was difficult to assess what kind of investment was warranted to dramatically improve data quality and accessibility within your company.

Knowing that a 10% increase in data accessibility will result in more than $65 million additional net income for a typical Fortune 1000 company means you can now work backwards to determine what it would take in both time and financial resources to raise your standards and increase accessibility as a corporate priority.

If you missed Forrester and InfoTrust’s last webinar on this subject, there are a few more coming up that you won’t want to miss. You can request an invite for the next Digital Transformation session that will go deeper into concrete steps to eradicate your data accessibility problem.

And now that you can quantify the opportunity, you should be in a better position to prioritize and, if needed, build your case for better data quality and accessibility. Make no mistake, better data quality and accessibility is a distinct competitive advantage that will catapult you ahead of your competitors or, should you choose to ignore it, cause you to fall behind your colleagues who make this a priority.  

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