Is your data strategy driven by your business needs?
In 2010 Google CEO chairman Eric Schmidt speaking at a Techonomy conference said, “more information is created in 48 hours today than was produced from the dawn of civilisation through (sic) 2003.” (TechCrunch)
It’s too late to wonder if your company is collecting and processing useful data on a daily basis. It is certainly collecting and processing data. Is it useful? Almost certainly not.
Only 8% of businesses know that they are collecting data and making use of it*.
How did they get there?
Are you part of that 8%?
Another question may be, why are you using that data? (GDPR, ahem)
There is an even smaller cross-section of the business world that is collecting and processing useful data. The worst approach is to just head directly into collecting as much data as possible, just in case. I’m an ‘on the safe side’ kind of person, so I understand the desire of one day being able to answer that really obscure question that no one will think of until three hundred other events have taken place, but that’s not really practical.
It’s time to tame the beast.
Or, to use another metaphor, stem the flow of data. (There’s a reason why the term “data lake” gets banded around.) But that means you need to get as far upstream as possible.
Upstream in business means everything existing in the organisation for a reason. That includes data; not as some periphery thought, but a cornerstone of the assets your company owns.
Thinking about a strategy around data and information processing, the most valuable conversation you are going to have to get this into a manageable part of the business is to ensure every segment is justifiable by the business outcomes your company exists for.
Which small pocket of your organisation has attempted this already?
An example where this is done really well is in Google Analytics. The way it gives insight into how people are accessing and travelling around your website is vital to see how and where there may be key opportunities being missed. If people are purchasing from your website, you can even track abandoned baskets and find out what was the blocker to their final purchase. This data is invaluable.
What is your organisation investing in? Do you have enough information to ensure you stay ahead of the competition? Or are you too busy filling in spreadsheets with out-of-date measurements that mean very little to where your company is going to be in five years’ time?
*Jenny Dearborn, The Data Driven Leader (pp.78) or on the podcast