Did the title about data make you curious? Great!
Of course, in today’s data-rich environment I’m not really suggesting that you ignore it, rather the opposite! But in working with clients around the world and in numerous industries, I’ve found that many are lost by all the information that is available to them.
In fact it seems to drown out their reasoning of what to do and they remain frozen in indecision. Is this your case? If so, then just follow the steps I detail below and you will soon be doubling, quadrupling, if not 10x the ROI of your data!
The Current Situation with Data
Data is everywhere and most organisations are drowning in it! Technology is at the heart of this data explosion and is being blamed for disrupting businesses, but most have simply not adapted to this new information-rich world.Technology is at the heart of the data explosion and is being blamed for disrupting businesses, but most have simply not adapted to this new information-rich world. #BigData #DataAnalysis #Information Click To Tweet
I admit, a lot has changed in recent years. Consumers are learning how to adapt their behaviours and now trade their personal information for extra benefits. In response companies are changing their business models as their value shifts from products to services, or in some cases, to the sale of the information they gather.
Some organisations are reinventing themselves to take advantage of these changes. Others are ignoring them – at their peril, since they risk becoming the next Kodak, Borders or Blockbusters. If you’re interested in reading more about the US Retail Apocalypse and the 23 big retailers closing stores then I highly recommend this post on Fox Business.
So what should you do, whether you are in manufacturing or retail? Well, I believe that you should start by renovating your business model to take advantage of the countless new opportunities that the wealth of data offers you. And in my opinion, you had better do it sooner rather than later, because your competition almost certainly will!
Yes you have data and information, but if you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that it’s not enough. You have to turn these into knowledge and understanding, and then into actionable insights. And this can only be done by asking the right questions of your data and information.
If you are struggling to take needed action despite a wealth of information, then this is certainly where you should start making changes – fast!
A 2015 Capgemini and EMC study called “Big & Fast Data: The rise of Insight-Driven Business” showed that:
- 56% of the 1,000 senior decision makers surveyed claim that their investment in big data over the next three years will exceed past investment in information management.
- 65% admit they risk becoming irrelevant and uncompetitive if they do not leverage data. This is especially true given that non-traditional providers, like startups thriving on big data processing, are moving into their industries.
- Although companies realise they desperately need to dig into data analytics to maintain their business position, 45% surveyed think their current internal IT development cycles are not sufficient for new analytics and don’t fulfil their business requirements.
- Making matters worse, over half (52%) of those surveyed see the speed of their organisation’s insight generation from data analytics as constrained by its existing IT infrastructure.
So what has happened in the past couple of years? Not a lot in terms of usage, but a lot in terms of data gathering. Just check out the graph below which shows the volume of data/information created, captured, copied, and consumed worldwide from 2010 to 2025 (in zettabytes). As you can see data is expected to almost double in the next three years!
Of course big data has been big news for years, thanks to its 5Vs (volume, velocity, variety, variability, value). These were the driving forces behind the need and finally the computing upgrades which made new ways of analysing it all even possible.
This article by Olivia Ryan sums up the “6 ways big data expansion can significantly damage our privacy.” These are the major points which the GDPR is hoping to address, and about time too in my opinion.
Today it’s the EU’s GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation, with its stricter rules, as well as the removal of third-party cookies, which has everyone concerned. It is definitely worth checking out the details here if you are not sure what you need to change by when. And if Google’s changing plans about cookies are of interest, then I suggest you refer to this article.
Interestingly, there is no equivalent federal law in the US (for now), but that doesn’t mean you can ignore it if your business is based there. Find out more in this excellent article on Forbes.
It’s true that companies do recognise all the threats detailed in the earlier mentioned study, and while startups flourish in every industry, the mastodons of commerce are slow to change, hence the need for GDPR. (see below for an alternative approach to individualised data utilisation)
An Alternative Approach
Data comes into its own when used for personalised engagements. However, there is an alternative or complementary approach that some organisations are now using. This is to address global issues such as resource management, water usage or pollution, which certain customers feel passionately about.
Coming back to the title of this post, as you can see there is a lot to do before analysing all the data you have. And probably it’s a lot more than you even know about at present, at least from my experience!
You can’t go wrong if you start with the customer and identify what you need to know and understand in order to go beyond their expectations.You can't go wrong if you start with the customer & identify what you need to know & understand. #CEX #CRM #Customer Click To Tweet
Make a list of all the things you want to know and then see if you have the information to answer them. In many cases you do, it just hasn’t been analysed in a way that makes the solution obvious. That’s when you should review and eventually update your platform and systems.
Doing this any earlier will be like buying a fancy new hammer to crack a nut! What you need to understand is the best way to crack the nut; often times the hammer is fine for cracking if you use it correctly.