Getting your enterprise data strategy right

Is your business/industry challenged by digital disruption?

It’s hard to miss the buzz around digital disruption and it’s becoming more and more prominent by each passing day. One can’t find a single industry be it Retail, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Telecommunication, Healthcare, Media or Utility. Recent KPMG’s 2016 CEO Outlook summarizes key challenges they face and importance of including the same as part of Business strategy for implementation over next 3 years. On the Technology side, 25 percent of the CEO highlighted Data and Analytics as the top area of investment over the next 3 years. In another finding from the same survey 88 percent of the CEOs are worried about the customer loyalty and 82 percent are worried about the relevance of their product or services.

One can’t find a single industry be it Retail, Manufacturing, Financial Services, Telecommunication, Healthcare, Media or Utilities where disruption is not underway and the lines between the industries are becoming more and more vague. What though is becoming more and more clear is, a new business architecture based on the theme that data as the “core equity” of the company is becoming a winning strategy both in terms of customer retention and customer acquisition.

There are the 1st generation internet companies, who have been successful in demonstrating that managing and leveraging data effectively to understand consumer behavior and business processes can be key to bringing in additional revenues and winning the consumer minds.
These data based businesses have been hugely rewarded both by investors and consumers alike and are racing ahead. The traditional counterparts in each of these industry verticals are finding it challenging to begin their data journey in order to convert missed opportunity in this data race to their advantage.

The reasons for the difficulty comes not so much from the lack of awareness or doubts on the need for it but from the understanding that they need to build out in many cases almost afresh their data infrastructure, analytics capabilities and applications infrastructure almost afresh and that it needs to be right not just for the current business context, but shall ensuring that it ties up with the long term business strategy and the ROI on data investment is not rendered obsolete. Indeed, the data race is on and the slower ones are likely to find it difficult to cross this digital or may I say data disruption.

So, what is a right data & analytics technology strategy?

Even though the answer to this would depend on your business and industry context, a good data and analytics strategy shall be built on the following pillars.

1. Single Source of Truth

Data Infrastructure build out shall allow you to pull all kinds of data together, be it customer data, operations data, financial data, marketing data or transaction data or even semi structured data such as call records, emails, messages etc.

This will be critical to help build out a unified data analytics story, which is important to enable a single source of truth regarding every business dimension that matters. It is also equally important to get that right for any kind of analytics to be meaningful in the context of future. Any advanced analytics algorithm or even descriptive statistics can get a single view of the customer inside-out a business and thereby enabling better business decisions.

2. Real-time Analytics

The term “real-time” means differently for different businesses and contexts. However, What is clear is, It may not be enough to be able to analyze the available data and run analytics every 12-24 hours. The ability to react to data almost now can be hugely rewarding and can give a competitive edge by allowing C-level executives to make business decisions in near-real time.

Any Data Infrastructure and Analytics strategy shall allow for the same. Lack of it in real-time in the hands of the business executives can be a huge limitation.

3. Integration of Data-silos

As more and more processes are getting digitized, the technology decisions are moving away from CIOs to business functions. This is bringing a huge diversity of data sets which are buried under a diverse set of applications which are only growing.

The Ability to add new data-source effortlessly easily without having to kick off another set of new costly IT projects is important for the longevity of the effort to bring all the data sources to a common infrastructure.
Not getting this right can become a key reason for failure of your data strategy.

4. Informed decision anywhere, any-device

With the improvement in data speeds and mobile device capabilities, CEOs and businesses understand the need to improve collaboration, along with speed of such collaboration events and its impact on overall business cohesiveness. This is a single most important factor for bringing incremental efficiency in business as well has a very critical role in long-term culture of collaboration within the business.

Collaborating with your business data and the insights it generates on the move are therefore extremely critical features of any Data architecture.

For more information about Cynepia and how it can help you get your data strategy right,