• Discovering the Impact of Data – Leading From the Front

    While change undisputedly comes from the top-down, few would argue that where utilizing data is concerned, it is key employees who need to be among the first to discover how it is used in their organization. As such, it falls to management to ensure that the necessary technology, training, and processes are in place so that the best data-driven decisions are made.

    How to ensure that your organization makes the best data discoveries

    As C-suite operations and real sales continue to be the main driving forces behind the every- increasing data mountains that most businesses are creating, it follows that the strategies
    designed to discover and use them must also evolve. The real irony is that many organizations are still not utilizing this data to the full, while many C-suite executives still have limited understanding concerning its potential.

    It would be easy for busy CEOs and others to fall into the trap of treating such data as something to be handled and controlled while missing out on its potential to influence decisions. Understanding this is likely to provide the motivation needed to move towards improved processes of mining and utilizing such data.

    Understanding how utilizing business data will impact your business

    The aptly named business intelligence or BI technology as it is also known is primarily used to gather, collate, and utilize data in businesses and organizations of all sizes. Thanks to such things as data protection and handling laws, these systems are now considered something of a mandatory requirement for any company.

    While there may be some sections of the business community which have attached a few negative connotations to this process of handling data, most have now embraced the positive aspects provided by the access to large quantities of information. Having recognized this potential, forward-thinking C-suite personnel have acted prudently in taking their organizations through this digital transformation. This has placed them at the forefront of the data-driven wave, by providing them with the systems needed to make the most of this data.

    Data-driven decisions and laying the right foundations

    There is little doubt that creating a data-driven philosophy within any organization is something that must happen from the top downwards. Therefore, leadership input into the ethos of data discovery, collection, handling, and usage is a must and that means leading from the front is a crucial factor in its success.

    Some of the must-haves for such leaders would include:

    • An awareness of both current and evolving data technologies and business intelligence
    • An understanding of related technologies and how they impact on data
    • The ability or resources (or both) to create an effective and reliable data infrastructure
    • Instigating and maintaining the systems needed to discover, collate and analyze data in a time-conscious manner
    • Allowing key employees to take both control and responsibility for data and its associated systems
    • Ensure there are “all levels” of management understanding of how the data is being handled and utilized
    • Provide systems which both detect and trace changes in the data stream
    • Instigate regular and routine data reviews to ensure that data analysis remains efficient
    • Take continuing action to ensure that investment is made in data to the benefit of the organization

    Some of the benefits of focusing on data discovery

    It is already widely accepted that keeping pace with the changes which affect any growing organization is one of the key pathways to business success. The discovery of data now plays a key role in such businesses by providing relevant information and providing insights into potential risk factors.

    The reality is, that unless business leadership takes the initiative, many organizations are highly likely to miss out on the innovations and opportunities that are right under their noses. Worse still, such businesses could discover that they are unwittingly conceding an advantage to their competitors who are already leveraging the virtually limitless potential of their data.

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