How to Data: Finding the right approach in an uncertain economy By Ana Pinczuk, the Chief Development Officer at Anaplan.

  • 2 years ago Posted in

Discussions about Big Data have arisen in every industry dealing with data sets – from retail to banking. But what’s the big deal? Well, Big Data has made its name as the central nervous system of how companies work, with the ability to affect how whole companies function.  


With Big Data under the microscope, companies are digging deeper to explore the potential of a more nuanced and agile approach to data analytics. Now that businesses are looking for the next big thing after Big Data, will the new buzzword be “accessible data” instead? Following the rise in digital transformation in the last year, businesses are trying to sort out how to best use the huge amounts of data they are saddled with. However, understanding how they can use it isn’t always easy and can be intimidating, especially amongst market uncertainty.  


Despite the majority (72%) of business decision-makers agreeing that the ability to collect, analyse and make meaningful decisions with data has become more important, the report by AND Digital found that the data journeys of many organisations are being restricted - whether the reason is organisational, technical or something else.  


How do you tackle turning your “big” data into a market opportunity, no matter the industry you operate in or your size? 


Untangling that data 

Firstly, businesses need to understand that before they lay the foundations, they need to clear space for innovation to take place. With almost three quarters (75%) of UK business leaders saying they have experienced anxiety over challenges relating to data, it is time to make their weakness into their biggest strength.  


Untangling that data is an essential place to start in order to prime it for use. Most of us have reached into our pockets to use our headphones, only to find a matted ball of wires.  Just the thought of untying is a daunting task, ruining the full potential of the user experience and causing unnecessary stress. This is the same for companies that have gotten used to harbouring their data in a plethora of overloaded excel spreadsheets and documents sporadically placed around different locations.  



Change your understanding of data  

After you have faced your fears and untangled your data, the foundation of better business agility can be properly laid.  


Part of that is changing your thinking about who data is for - it’s not just something that remains in the IT department anymore. Businesses need to broaden the use of data across all departments to help derive helpful insights about everything from finance to workforce to supply chain. Turning raw data into actionable information is critical to the performance of the company.  


By doing that, companies can better make use of internal and external data to plan effectively using predictive analytics such as machine learning. This can allow you to automatically create forecasts and plans that head off potential disruptions to your business - for example - building more supply chain resilience against climate change activity or even demand sensing so that you can prepare for sudden shifts in buying trends. 


Employee experience  

Creating a plan for data in your business isn’t just about how you collect it, it’s also about making it more accessible and usable - especially for those with no IT background.  


With the use of data growing across all sections of companies, it is essential that all people are able to understand and use that information in a way that can help them make decisions that drive improved results and avoid frustration. 


Since being adaptable and flexible is becoming easier with technology, making sure that digital transformation is sustainable is a must. Relying on historical data alone or a rigid planning process with no flexibility will kill agility.  


Businesses know they need to be more agile with their approach to data, but it is up to them to make this happen. - Following these steps can help give them the foundation to thrive, no matter their size or the industry they are operating in. 

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