While diving in Big Data and Artificial Intelligence is booming, many companies are still struggling to take full advantage of their business data, leaving dormant an underutilized asset with enormous potential.
Which is surprising to say the least since the vast majority of companies have implemented technologies that have accumulated billions of billions of data over the last two or three decades. We are talking about Big Big Data.
Your business data, an underused or underestimated asset?
A recent New Vantage Partners survey of 60 large companies, reviewed by Harvard Business Review, revealed that the majority of these companies have plunged into the world of analytics for a long time but very few have actually implemented a data-driven enterprise culture.
According to another KPMG study, 85% of C-Levels reported having difficulty in “implementing the right solutions to accurately analyze and interpret their existing data”.
They have trouble making decisions with the data they have or using the data they collect. KPMG suggests that they “are unable to connect the points because they do not fully understand how Data & Analytics can transform their business,” although they say they are critically important to their business. In fact, many businesses simply collect information without knowing how to use it.
In short, they don’t make the best out of their data!
What are actionable data?
CIS Wired wrote: ” What big data represents is an opportunity; an opportunity for actionable insight, an opportunity to create value, an opportunity to effect relevant and profitable organizational change. The opportunity lies in the which information is integrated, how it is visualized and where actionable insight is extracted. ”
Actionable data is information presented in a clear, understandable and often visual way, on the basis of which it is possible to act immediately, or it is information that gives sufficient insight into the future so that the best actions to be taken become clear for decision-makers.
In simple terms, actionable data is Business Intelligence.
Beyond CRM, the true nature of business data
In addition to financial data and production chain data, many companies still perceive CRM as their primary source for valuable, actionable data; surprisingly this very “sales” vision still persists today.
There are data of all kinds laying dormant elsewhere in your business and that have have value.
- Structured data (CRM, BD, Excel files, ERP, logs …)
- Unstructured data (Social Media, Technical Support, Customer Service, Customer Activities such e-mails, calls, meeting notes, data external to the company, etc.)
It is important to identify and qualify meaningful data in terms of Events Predictability, Improved Decision Making and Customer Service.
The challenge of revealing corporate data intelligence
The majority of companies surveyed (New Vantage Partners survey) would like to use their data mainly to make better decisions (36%) and to improve the quality of Customer Service (24%).
Not only do we need to know where to find the data, we need to implement metrics and act on the data to reveal their intelligence. Here are some examples of metrics and analytical actions on basic data that can nonetheless generate great value for the business.
- Create a “smart” sales pipeline that considers the likelihood of business activities execution, a realistic estimate of a lead value, the expected date of sale, etc.
- Create a road map of upcoming meetings, calls to make with an estimate of success probability or successful follow-up on these activities
- Compare the results of sales and marketing activities over time, by territory, by product category, etc.
- Establish cross-references between marketing events and results to reveal causal associations
- Classify and quantify Customer Service approaches in order to guide decisions on the production side
From the point of view of making better decisions and improving Customer Service, we can not emphasize enough the importance of displaying metrics and analytics actions in visual form.
The main obstacles to implementing a data-driven corporate culture
Moreover, the same survey identifies in 50% of the cases the Personnel as the main obstacle to establishing of a data-driven corporate culture. Processes meanwhile only constitute an obstacle in 33% of cases while Technologies are only a barrier in 19% of cases in the eyes of leaders.
When asked about the same topic but from another perspective, one-third (33%) of companies identified “resistance to change” as a major barrier to adopting a data-driven enterprise culture.
Finally, it should be noted that 30% of executives surveyed indicated that the lack of understanding and appreciation of data as a business asset was a barrier to a successful adoption of a data-driven enterprise culture.
The amazing thing is that while everyone gags about Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, many companies are still lagging behind in terms of exploiting their basic data.
The good news is, however, that all companies can still do well with the implementation of a Data Strategy and that the only real obstacle comes from “People. ”
In short, you may be only one human resource away from happiness… in terms of data that is!!!