Recently RedCat Digital’s Big Data Senior Consultant Andy Driver sat down with experienced Big Data & Technology Evangelist Lucio Godoy to discuss how and why creating a data-driven environment is important in modern business.
What does a data-driven environment look like to you?
A data-driven environment is an ecosystem where both, employers & employees, understand the value of data and how to apply it to decision-making across a widespread array of areas such as; backing up new product development ideas with data, measuring outcomes across services to retain and acquire new customers, and much more. Unless your company truly values data, a “data-driven environment” is nothing but a buzzword!
Why is creating a data-driven environment important in business?
Big Data has given us the capability of storing large amounts of data at low cost, however having access to vast quantities of data to just find patterns, trends or create fancy charts isn’t enough! You need to drive business value from data, and a data-driven culture helps analytics teams build models that generate business value.
How has big data evolved recently? What have been some of the most significant effects?
Big Data means different things to different people, this is like an “umbrella” term that encompasses from new IoT (Internet of Things) digital data as well as the data collected from years and years of paperwork issued and filed by the government.
Big Data, with its ability to capture and store vast amounts of data, has grown at an unprecedented rate, which is fundamentally changing the way businesses compete and operate today. Companies that are investing in and successfully extracting value from their data have a distinct advantage over their competitors.
What would you say is the biggest misconception of Big Data?
I believe there are a number of areas where company “bosses” have a misconception of Big Data. First-of-all, there is a belief that data is always available and of good quality. In practical terms the source of data needs to be discovered, when found, is siloed, kept across a number of legacy systems and it needs to be cleaned and normalised prior to importing.
Secondly, the technical capacity to aggregate and analyse disparate volumes of information is only just now catching up; In order to derive real-time business insights that relates to consumers, risk, profit, performance, productivity management and enhanced shareholder value.
What potential challenges are there for businesses looking to embrace Big Data further?
I believe the lack of internal collaboration is one the biggest challenges a company can face when embracing Big Data.
Normally the Big Data “charge” starts from the technical side of a company. We, the “geeks”, like to play with new technologies, however, to drive value from data, you need to collaborate with other areas and understand their challenges and how your Big Data programme can solve those challenges. By socialising your plans and collaborating across the company, this will help you to identify real use-case scenarios, increase visibility and successfully measure ROI on your programme.
What do you see as being the most exciting future developments of Big Data in the workplace?
I think there are a number of exciting developments, such as:
- Being more adaptable is vital to the success than ever before, as digital transformation isn’t only about technology, it’s about bringing together the power of technology with a culture that embraces the change.
- Customer experience, including employees, plays a very important part in any digital transformation as customers are becoming less tolerant, and they are prepared to walk away if they feel frustrated when using a badly designed App or website.
- Lastly, proactive innovation is one of the key areas to invest in; as to stay ahead of the market on a competitive cut-throat evolving marketplace, you need to be able to develop and test new ideas super-quick and move on.
How would you describe success when trying to incorporate Big Data and create a more data-driven business?
In a perfect world, the key is a well-defined organisational structure, a systematic implementation plan, and strong leadership. Big Data initiatives are rarely “department-centric” programmes, but rather cut across multiple areas and departments, making collaboration and cross-functional support a must.
It is important to inspire employees around the company by sharing the successes that the Big Data programme has achieved by creating an internal communications plan. Ultimately employees have to embrace and use data. And this is when you know you have embedded and created a data-driven business.
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