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Three steps to make data a pillar of your strategy

Data plays a critical role in today’s world, and organisations are increasing their focus on capturing and maintaining data to help them make critical decisions.

Three steps to make data a pillar of your strategy

You don’t have to look far to see the importance of data in our day to day lives. Most of us follow sport so let’s talk about the Australian Open, the Grand Slam tennis tournament that takes place in Melbourne every year.

Data drives sporting performance

If you are a tennis fan like I am, the Australian Open is a big deal. You’ll be closely following player news well before the tournament begins and have your own picks for who will make the finals.

You’ll weigh up the probability of success for your favourite players based largely on past performance. Some of us go a step further placing bets on our favourite players for the tournament.

How do we know who is going to win the Cup? Is it just instinct, or something more? When was the last time you watched a sport you love or placed a bet without first looking at the game’s statistics? The answer for most of us, is never. How do we predict chances of success? It is data.

Tennis produces a wealth of data to draw on. There are statistics outlining each player’s past performance down to data points including the percentage of points won on the first serve, break points saved and service games won. The player draw, which determines who faces each other and in what order and players’ past performance on different court surfaces are also crucial factors.

Ultimately, this information helps us determine which player or team is most likely to win.

Take that other big event on the Australian sports schedule – the Melbourne Cup. The statistics for each horse, based on past performance and other variables that could impact its chances of winning the cup are considered. Dashboards show key metrics, such as the jockey’s weight and the expected weather conditions at the race course.

It is no different in business. More than ever, we are driven by the need to win and to win we need good data. That’s why many organisations are taking a data-driven approach to pursuing their strategic objectives.

How can organisations leverage data strategically?

The huge volume of data generated by a typical business poses a challenge here. The technology landscape is also rapidly changing.

It can be difficult for organisations to hold and access all of their data from various services, channels, and customers, in an accurate and timely way. There are many organisations that use data to support sales and marketing, leveraging advanced analytics. However, there are very few organisations that capture data across the entire enterprise, both inward looking and outward looking - to explore the huge opportunities for growth or doing things more productively.

A comprehensive approach to data and analytics capability can be high impact for your organisation.

There are three steps you need to take to become a data-driven organisation.

Start capturing the right information

It starts with gaining the right insights about your organisation’s business model and how it operates.

In the business model there is a need to be a focus on identifying different sources of revenue, the intended customer base and the products you are offering. Take a design-thinking approach to define the right business model.

What are the key resources that influence the business model? There could be several workshops with different key stakeholders to help identify these key resources.

Do we know the right channels to market our business? Engage your marketing department, IT and other key stakeholders to define the channels to market for your products and services.

Who requires our products or services? What are the various segments that potential customers can be segregated into to target them with the right products?

Along with this you need to understand and define the best operating model that enables your business to deliver value internally and to customers.

Identifying the people, processes, technologies, KPIs and partners will help define the right operating model for the organisation. Gathering information across each of these areas acts a critical input and seeds the pathway for the organisation to change the culture to be more data-driven and to enable opportunities for data-led innovation.

Put the right technology in place

Technology enables the organisation to have the right foundation to start capturing information through platforms or services and needs the right toolset and capabilities to leverage it. The data-led innovation begins here, when the data is being churned and can be strategically exploited for new opportunities.

While most organisations are now pursuing “cloud-first” strategies, others are very cautious about data sovereignty and security, looking at restricted environments whether in the cloud or on-premises.

To stand up systems that can capture information and data across multiple services and applications, you need a secure environment that supports data exchange. Microsoft Azure is one of the leading cloud platforms that enable organisations in the transformation journey to deliver on their strategies. You can use Azure to secure your applications and data, operate a hybrid cloud model and build on your terms, while meeting government and industry security standards.

This enables organisations to define a strategic path for data through services such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), modern data warehouse, data and analytics, along with deep insights across the platform.

Drive insights from the data

These insights enable organisations to constantly work on the operating model and refine it to achieve their goals. Advanced insights such as predictive and prescriptive analytics, can help automate decision making with a faster service turnaround.

These advanced insights can leverage artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and augmented reality applications.

Through cloud platforms such as Azure, organisations can deliver the capability of a machine to imitate human behaviour such as images analysis, speech recognition and transcription, interact in natural ways through conversational interfaces, and make predictions using data.

Organisation can start with foundations such as Azure Machine Learning and DataBricks, in combination with ONNX, the open ecosystem for interchangeable AI models, to begin the machine learning journey. Depending on the strategy of the organisation, this capability can be further extended using Cognitive Services to pre-train AI models that can assist with decision making.

Contact Empired to find out how we can help you become a data-driven organisation and reap the benefits in doing so.

This blog is part of the #datareimagine series. For more experts' insights, clients' experiences and to download our datasheets, click the banner.

For more experts' insights, clients' experience and to download our datasheets, click the banner #datareimagine

Posted by: Ravi Baggam, Solution Architect | 15 October 2019

Tags: Data Analytics, Data Intelligence, #datareimagine

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