Five steps to strategic data that will help you elevate your insight

Do you want to be in the grey zone or the growth zone? Does the way you work with data enable your business to push onwards and upwards, or are you trapped, up to your waist in what you thought was a data lake, but turned out to be a data swamp?

We often hear the term ‘data-driven’ in relation to business. But you don’t want to be driven by data, you want to be enabled. You don’t want data to drive you to the foot of a Chinese wall of structured data, you want it to elevate you up and over it to where the unstructured data lives.

There are plenty of examples of companies that have got it right – and one big example of where it all went wrong. You could almost name them without thinking, because the ones you would point to as successful are the ones who, today, are dominating their particular markets.

Not so long ago, however, you wouldn’t have heard of them, you wouldn’t have considered their business model and you certainly wouldn’t have thought it would be the way they use data that’s making them so successful.

Nokia were world leaders in mobile telephone technology – the best-selling brand in the world in 1998, created the best-selling phone, the Nokia 1100 in 2003, and in 2007 they were selling half the smartphones bought across the whole world. But they never saw the train that hit them coming.

Put it down to arrogance, or lack of vision, or an inferior technology, the breeze that Nokia felt as Apple’s iPhone flew past them in 2007 was the wind of change.

Arrogance and lack of vision equals impaired insight. That comes straight from reading the wrong data, or by ignoring the right data. Steve Jobs and Co’s data seemed to give them much better insight. People wanted phones with a built-in camera? Of course they did.

And Apple aren’t the only example. Anyone heard of Amazon formed 1994; Booking.com, 1996; Tesla, 2003, Airbnb, 2008; Uber, 2009?

All built and grown on not only reading the right data but understanding it.

And if you think about it, data is all about things and place and time – but most importantly about people. Like Apple these companies have understood the data of people so well, they are able to use that data to predict what people will want next – or at least be confident enough to suggest an option or four.

These companies have gone through a process that takes them from identifying data in the first place to make it available, to the point where they can exploit it to make strategic use of it.

I wouldn’t say our technology, the Dynizer, drives that process, but I would say it enables and supports it, by filling in three important steps in the middle. That is, by linking data - any data, structured or unstructured - exploring data so you can better understand it, and enhancing the data so you can actually apply it.

This is our accelerated path to strategic data, and because it doesn’t care from where the data comes or in what format, it remains data agnostic. The best of all worlds? Possibly.

We’re looking forward to talking more about this in a webinar later this month. More details soon.