Building a Future-Minded Data Strategy
Making data strategy a priority
By now, all marketing strategists, operational managers, and IT experts are aware that not having an enterprise data strategy in place translates to shooting in the dark and expecting to score. An adequate, future-proof data strategy involves not only collecting high-quality data about consumer behavior, trends, and preferences, but also processing, analyzing, and acting on it on an ongoing basis. Every step in this process is an integral part of the holistic strategy.
In technological terms, we can call much of the process described above ‘data management.’ Managing big data started receiving the attention it deserved in the past decade, as technology professionals began realizing its place and importance in an enterprise IT strategy. Most importantly, staying on top of new technologies and trends can help unveil the most optimal ways to collect, store, process, and analyze data, as they continue to evolve.
Big data isn’t just about the data
When the business world first started grasping the value and potential of what we now call ‘big data,’ it was all about getting as much of it as possible, and rather quickly. Many corporations went overboard with this task, coming up with various creative ways to gather data on everything and everyone. Some common methods used include using website pop-up surveys, newsletter subscriptions, loyalty programs, discounts and promotions, lead generation through free downloads, and just about every other trick in the book. This frequently results in corporate collections of vast amounts of data that is expensive to store, secure, and update.
Often, later comes the question, ‘we now have the data; what do we do with it?’ The truth is that corporations can get ahead of themselves, collecting yottabytes of data but not doing much with it or having a strategy in place. Nevertheless, collecting data is the easy part, and though it is nice to have more of it, it’s just as important to know which kind of data to collect and what to do with it. Also, recent GDPR rules make it harder to hold on to customer or prospect data without using it. This is why a future-minded, long-term data strategy needs to start with these types of discussions.
Why a connected data strategy is a critical success factor
Advanced data platforms are used by enterprises to store, access, and visualize big data. These platforms have come a long way since their early days when there was less data and fewer demands on the data. Ever since the IoT (Internet of Things) revolution, data became even more vast and difficult to manage. Not only does data need to be managed, but today there are huge demands on what this data needs to deliver in terms of business value. Only a connected data strategy can ensure that big data can produce advanced consumer insights and predictions that businesses can use to respond to rapidly changing consumer behavior and tastes.
The future value of your data
When we talk about data management, it’s important to note that this should include regular assessments of existing processes and policies. Trends, tools, and capabilities evolve rapidly, and so should your corporate data management strategy.
When an enterprise engages in proactive and timely data visualizations, it can uncover trends that will benefit them for years and even decades to come. Sometimes, advanced data analysis can reveal highly unexpected developments that would surprise even the most knowing strategists and analysts. This is where the magic of big data lies – in the patterns, ever so slight and subtle, that only the most robust machine learning algorithms can dare to uncover them.
The right tools to support your future-proof data approach
You know by now that having the right tools and solutions in place to manage, analyze and visualize your data at rest, data in motion, and data in use is just as important as having a solid data strategy. Building and customizing those is certainly not a trivial task, as every enterprise’s data is unique and needs to be handled differently. However, selecting or developing a suitable data platform is a crucial, advanced step to executing a data strategy successfully. Building the analytical and visualization tools that fully integrate with the platform, as well as your IoT systems, is also key.
Ready to discuss the best ways to manage and get the most out of your data, using custom-developed enterprise technology? Contact the Verhaert Digital team of experts for a no-obligation consultation.