4 fundamentals of data analytics for digital transformation

And why siloed data scientists could soon be a thing of the past.

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Many organizations run data science teams as separate silos of activity. These teams focus on gathering, cleaning and querying unstructured or “big” data, but they rarely touch data from transaction processing systems and corporate business processes, and might not even be members of the IT group. These “siloed" data scientists and analysts in analytics labs could soon be a thing of the past thanks to digital transformation.

Companies are digitizing virtually everything—from digital renderings of closets full of paper-based documents and photos to videos, CAD documents, social media feeds and voice recordings—and creating vast troves of unexploited and unstructured data.

As organizations invest in converting and storing all of this data in digital formats, they also expect returns from the investment. Minimally, they want to plumb this data for information and insights that can help their businesses.

Let’s say that you’re looking at the buying patterns of major customer A. You might take a look at the CRM system records of how many times your salespeople have contacted customer A and what the results were.  Your marketing department might want to compare when customer A made purchases with the timing of product campaigns that the company promoted on social media. If there is an interruption in customer A’s buying pattern, your sales and customer service departments might also want to look at sentiment analytics from the customer's last call about a product warranty or service issue.

The takeaway for CIOs and IT leaders is clear: unstructured data from sources like newly digitized voice recordings and social media content has to be used together with transactional data from systems like CRM if you’re going to get a full picture of a particular customer's situation that you can act on.

The twin challenges of systems integration and data sharing between disparate systems have forever been on the plates of CIOs. But with digital transformation in full force, there are now new market pressures to perform these integrations faster and with greater accuracy.

Following are the 4 minimum requirements that will enable the kind of full customer picture that digital transformation demands.

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