By David Gutierrez.
Companies across industries are investing heavily in data collection and storage technologies like the Internet of things (IoT) and the cloud in hopes of improving every facet of their operations. International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that digital transformation spending will reach nearly $2 trillion by 2022.
But while business investments run high, few companies are seeing tangible business results. This is because simply gathering vast amounts of data doesn’t necessarily mean that information will yield valuable insights.
In fact, results can be just the opposite. Having troves of data can quickly overwhelm a company that hasn’t laid a foundation to deliver knowledge to end users across the workplace.
How can businesses turn their digital transformation initiatives into daily business value? Before walking through the essential building blocks, here’s a quick primer on mature technologies like OLAP and new business intelligence (BI) tools.
Traditional BI vs. Modern BI
Collecting large quantities of raw information is undoubtedly a prerequisite to getting value from data. Firms that accomplish this are on the right track. But when they look to leverage traditional BI technology platforms, they don’t realize how quickly their efforts can go off the rails.
After a firm has developed ways to collect reliable data, success hinges on how effectively they can tap into that data and deliver the findings seamlessly to relevant users.
This is the crux of modern business intelligence technologies like ThoughtSpot, which leverage artificial intelligence and the data stored in any cloud to make an entire data archive accessible to all end users regardless of expertise.
Without these types of next-gen tools, organizations will be spinning their wheels trying to make sense of their vast untapped knowledge.
You’re less likely to become “that” enterprise if you do these three things:
Hire the Right Data Talent and Give Them Strategic Projects
Artificial intelligence (AI) offers the most potential for companies’ analytic initiatives. But instead of reducing the need for data professionals, AI has only fueled the demand for analytics experts.
With roles ranging from machine learning scientists and data curators to BI developers and specialized C-suite leaders across finance, operations, and marketing analytics, the power of AI can only be unleashed with human experts at the helm.
Reflecting on how traditional BI ecosystems leveraged data professionals can illuminate the path forward. Instead of expert talent spending all their time building manual reports for non-technical employees, give them high-level projects to work on.
This will not only challenge and engage some of the brightest minds in the company, but organizations will also benefit from initiatives that drive long-term growth.
Rather than bogging down your data talent with the minutiae of report generation, let data folks work on what they were hired for—complex projects that require their expertise.
Apply AI-Driven Analytics to Every Area of the Business
Hiring the right data talent, establishing an organization fluent in data, and leveraging AI-driven tools are the pillars of digital transformation. Now, the actual workflow of turning data into business value begins.
Whether you’re trying to streamline your supply chain to predict inefficiencies ahead of time or understand the impact of your marketing spend, modern BI platforms clarify the picture.
The ease of searching for questions and receiving quick, accurate, and digestible answers makes every employee smarter. The autonomy that comes with this type of knowledge discovery also makes each individual more invested in their role, free to think as strategically and outside the box as they please.
Get End Users to Crave Insights
Automated, intelligent insights can drive enterprise analytics programs, but not without cultivating the right company culture. Developing a data-literate culture is essential to transitioning analytics initiatives from costly to valuable.
Data fluent business cultures are a web of connected elements. All users, technical or nontechnical, communicate in a shared data language. The producers of data are skilled at turning raw information into digestible formats.
The organizational culture offers a climate for data-driven discussions to happen regularly. And the right tools and workflows are in place to fuel each of these components. When all of these things are in place, interacting with data becomes more effortless—so much so that employees across the business will look to numbers to inform their next decision without having to be reminded.
If these initiative sound challenging, you’re not alone. Getting a grasp on digital transformation requires buy-in from the entire organization, from the C-suite experts all the way down to the most tech-challenged employee.
But by embracing modern BI technology, structuring your data team to focus on strategic projects, and giving end users the power of self-search knowledge, your company can be the disruptor rather than the disrupted.
David Gutierrez started his career as a web designer in 2005. In 2012 he founded a creative design agency. Now it serves clients all over the world across multiple industries with a specific focus on FMCG and Fin-Tech.