Originally published on AG Connect.
Companies have an obsession with data. There is more data than ever before and companies generate large volumes of data about customers, finances, machines and social media to gain insights and determine business strategies. But it is difficult to extract value from those data.
Many organizations have been so busy gathering data that little thought has been given to the right strategy or technological infrastructure for that data. Research even shows that less than three in ten IT decision makers rely on data when making decisions. A better use of data is therefore high on the agenda for many companies and therefore senior management must think about investments to improve this.
Determine which data is the most important
Companies must first determine which data is the most important and expand from there. For example, if the company needs to improve customer service, then it must be invested in customer data. If that is in order, investments can be expanded.
Help IT utilize integration
In addition, the IT team requires attention. What problems do they experience when storing and processing data? So it may be that too little data is shared within the organization. The aforementioned research shows that only 2% of organizations share effective data. An important obstacle is poor integration between different systems. Freeing a budget for integration tools could be a solution. It removes concerns from the IT team and ensures that data is reliable and up-to-date and not stored in different silos. Although technology is important, human action must not be underestimated. The staff must know how to share and deploy data.
Invest in training
The IT team and senior management may see the importance of data, but others may not. This involves training that facilitates the handling of data and showing why this is not only beneficial for the company, but also for the role of the employee. These trainings contribute to improving the data processes.
A versatile approach
It is tempting to go all-in directly to the operationalization of data, but companies will never achieve the wanted ROI. Data integration technologies have become much more sophisticated, but it is unwise to invest solely in technology and not to think about business needs and a growth strategy. When companies can invest in better data integration technology and at the same time develop a corporate culture and strategy in which working with data is central, data-driven processes in the company are significantly improved and values can be extracted from data.