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Unlock your competitive advantage with accessible and trusted data foundations and governance

Woman and man looking at data on a tablet device

Ask any organisational leader about their relationship with data and you’ll probably get at least one tale of anguish, either past or present. Like you, they’ll know the struggles of striving for data maturity all too well, from building a single view of the customer to breaking data silos and showing a return on data investments.


There’s no denying that such maturity is necessary, but it’s difficult to achieve for most businesses. A successful strategy is about more than having decades of data behind you. It’s about laying robust data foundations and instilling proper governance across the whole organisation to ensure that you have a platform to build sustainable products upon and every subsequent step you take is on solid ground. 


Here’s why building a foundation of trusted, accessible and quality data matters when it comes to unlocking internal efficiencies, creating intelligent customer experiences and accelerating your competitive advantage.

Building trust and governance into your data strategy

Plainly and simply, there is no advantage to be had if there is no trust or understanding of the data you’re putting out as an organisation. This goes as much for the customers who rely on your data to make decisions as it does for the staff who use it to make products with a Data-as-a-Product mindset. You’ve heard the phrase ‘garbage in, garbage out’. Without a solid, trusted data foundation, you risk building data products that are difficult to maintain and won’t scale with your business.


Every data user, regardless of their end goal, must be able to trust its quality, accuracy and sources. For example, if cracks in your foundations cause stock shortages due to inaccurate forecasting predictions, you can probably assume you’ve failed to meet your customers’ expectations and put yourself at risk of not seeing them again.


In commercial terms, the potential losses in revenue are obvious. Customers who are served outdated personalised information about a product they want will likely go elsewhere to buy it. In emotional terms, previously established relationships and, indeed, brand reputations are at real risk if flawed data is relied upon in this way. In operational terms, bad data exposes you to all sorts of inefficiencies as an organisation, from duplicated processes to wasted resources on data products that don’t work. It’s easy to see how the costs of untrustworthy, unmanaged data can spiral out of control.


That’s why it’s crucial to get your approach to data governance right from the very beginning. As you start to build your architecture, capture and store common code patterns, cloud deployments and other integrations in software libraries and interfaces that anyone can access. Create governance structures and assign responsibilities to help you manage your data and avoid a ‘garbage in, garbage out’ scenario. Ensure that the information you store is kept accurate, up-to-date and appropriate for the decision-making it drives at all times. 


All of this means you’ll have the kinds of data sets your users can trust and, crucially, the blueprints for a scalable data foundation drawn up from the start. Better still, it will make sure your data is traceable with fully explainable outcomes, which will help and not hamper your organisation’s reputation as you grow.


This takes a combination of timely digital transformation and shrewd human insight to know where investments need to be made to set your organisation up for success. Choosing the right technology and empowering the right people are critical elements of such growth, but try not to run before you can walk. Think big, but start small and prove the value first to maximise your chances of leadership buy-in.

Find out how we can build data governance into your infrastructure to enable a wide breadth and complex depth of data products for your organisation

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Measuring the impact and value of data investments

When it comes to investing in your data foundations, understanding where the value will come from and when is seldom straightforward. The data maturity journey can be a long one, but it can accelerate growth, innovation and profitability if you get your strategy right.


You might eventually be using AI and ML to provide your customers with more timely product or service recommendations, improving your commercial success. You might increasingly be saving time on previously manual data collection tasks for forecasting or reporting, improving your operational success. More robust and efficient data foundations and governance policies can and most likely will affect your business in a range of ways, some of which you won’t have envisaged at the onset of your strategy. 


The key is to focus not on inputs or outputs, but on the aforementioned outcomes for customers and employees alike. In agriculture, for example, farmers strive to improve yield during every crop cycle. If they have data and insights that drastically reduce their estimation times at their fingertips, they can do exactly that and measure the real-world value that stronger data foundations can bring them. In retail, buyers of used cars want up-to-the-minute stock availability and prompt delivery. If the teams aren’t restricted by slow processes, repetitive tasks and internal bottlenecks, they can process the data they need to serve such customers much more quickly and efficiently. These outcomes demonstrate the tangible value that data maturity can deliver for an organisation if the problem areas are diagnosed correctly in the first place and effectively governed thereafter.


Data investments come in many shapes and sizes and can look different from one organisation to the next. If you’ve identified a need for improving the accessibility, trustworthiness and quality of data at your organisation, but you’re not sure how to execute it, our data experts are here to help. 


We build data foundations and data governance strategies that enable smarter decision-making for businesses in a range of industries and we’d love to do the same for you. Get in touch today to find out more.

Upskilling your team to become data-literate

Analysing and optimising your suite of technology, tools and processes will only get you so far if due attention is not paid to the people who will be expected to use them on a daily basis. Expecting data-driven miracles from an untrained team is akin to putting a daily commuter in a Formula One race car and expecting a podium finish. It takes time, training and tactical recruitment to carve out a competitive edge with your data.

Of course, amidst a decade-long Reskilling Revolution from the World Economic Forum, hiring the right people and training existing staff is easier said than done. Many leaders have already experienced the pains of finding (and paying for) data-literate talent in today’s market. It’s clear by now that achieving organisational maturity in the space is a test of patience and perseverance.

As we continue rapidly into a digital-dependent world, organisations that don’t invest in the data literacy of their teams will swiftly fall by the wayside. That’s why upskilling is one of the most critical aspects of unlocking the potential stored within your existing data because it ultimately makes it valuable. It makes it possible for everyone to extract the insights they need in a timely fashion thanks to more human-driven approaches from data and analytics teams—moving away from ‘big data’ towards more user-friendly ‘small’ and ‘wide’ data, as defined in Gartner’s 2021 trends in the data and analytics space.

If every level of your organisation, from the store room to the board room, has access to the right data at the right time and the skills to consume it, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a data-driven leader in your sector.

We’re passionate about building the data infrastructure and governance policies necessary to unlock sector-leading data products. Find out more from our data experts today to start your transformation.

Leveraging technology to unlock your data potential

Where many businesses fall down on their data maturity journey is in the belief that choosing the ‘best’ technology is the key to success. But in reality  even the most advanced technology will fail to deliver business results if you aren’t clear on your intended business outcomes. It is imperative firstly to ensure your technology investments are guided by a solid understanding of your intended business outcomes and a recognition that technology, people and process are the enablers.


Once you have a clear understanding of business outcomes you can start investigating your technology options. It can be difficult to accept the need for new investments in technology and infrastructure, such are the potential costs. But the financial impact of avoiding transformation can be far greater. Many organisations are already taking the plunge and the transformational trend looks set to continue—Gartner has predicted that enterprise IT spending on cloud computing will overtake spending on traditional IT in 2025.


The crux of it is not in merely buying the newest, shiniest tools for the front-end, but in providing a reliable enough back-end infrastructure to enable growth via a stack of carefully selected tools for your customers and employees to use. A cloud-based approach allows far greater flexibility than legacy systems can muster, which ultimately unlocks data at every level of your organisation rather than leaving it festering in impenetrable silos.

Cloud also makes it easier to scale your products when every data analyst, scientist and engineer within your organisation can access its data infrastructure to find or fix what they need. Proper governance of your software libraries means that data sets become instantly accessible for new products or features and data issues become universally fixable so everyone can benefit from them. In practice, this also means that individuals or teams can focus on solving the rich contextual problems necessary to produce business domain-specific dashboards, machine learning applications, and other data products.They no longer, have to reinvent the wheel. It allows for sturdy automation scaffolding that all teams and individuals can rely upon and acts as an organisational multiplier as a result.

The pace of digital change in society today demands that businesses at least keep pace, if not stay ahead of the pack. It can be difficult to know where to invest when you can’t see a clear path to the value that a better data strategy will bring, but our data experts are here to help.


Get in touch if you’d like to discover which technologies might assist you best on your data transformation journey.

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