How to begin building an open data process

Data is currently the most valuable substance in the world - but how do you make the most of the data in your workplace? We explain how in this quick guide…

Data is currently the most valuable substance in the world – more lucrative than oil, gold, or anything else you can think of. That’s because knowledge is power, and data gives us access to informative insights that we can’t get anywhere else. However, what you may not know is that there are more types of business floating around in your network than you realise.

You’ve got the data that you gather in your sales and CRM systems when your customers make a purchase, or you interact with a client. You’ve also got information that you collect each day about the way that your teams use software and tools to get work done. There’s even data in your business that could help you understand how people feel about your brand. Today’s natural language processing and sentiment analysis tools can dive into the nuances in the human voice via VoIP calls to give you insights into the quality of your interactions

So, how do you make the most of the data in your workplace?

The importance of better data management

Big Data has been a buzzword in the technology industry for several years now. However, there are still business leaders out there who assume that data analytics and insights are reserved for a specific size or type of company. The truth is that even smaller businesses have data available to them that they could be analysing to make better business decisions; all they really need is the right business intelligence and data management platforms.

As organisations of every size continue to recognise the growing power of data, it’s becoming increasingly easy for companies to access business data in all of its forms. What’s more, if you can embrace better data management solutions, then you’re more likely to see significant improvements in your company’s growth. According to a report from McKinsey, the organisations that are the most data-driven are also the ones that make better decisions. Groups that were data-driven in the report were 23 times more likely to acquire new customers and 19 times more likely to be profitable.

Big brands like McDonalds and Starbucks rely on management systems that consolidate multiple types of business data across various systems and applications at scale. They use these solutions to break down the barriers between silos in their business and innovate in their markets with higher levels of information and insights.

How to get started with your open data process

So how do you start creating an open data process, where everyone in your team can access the information that they need to make more informed decisions? The good news is that you don’t have to be a brand giant like McDonalds or Starbucks to get started. However, you do need to take a step towards becoming a more data-driven venture. This means:

  • Developing a Data Strategy: The first step in making the most of data management is to define a forward-thinking about approach to how you’re going to gather and manage information. Remember, getting more access to your business data shouldn’t be your end goal. Instead, you should be looking at what you want to accomplish with the information that you collect, and where you’ll be able to obtain the highest quality of data to make the right decisions. For instance, if you want to improve customer service, the types of business data you need might come from contact centres, marketing initiatives, and sales strategies.
  • Have a single source of truth: Many of the modern data-driven organisations that are thriving today are embracing the use of unfamiliar and darker data sources. This means tapping into multi-structured and unstructured data sources that most companies aren’t used to dealing with. Organisations that are exploring the darkest depths of their data also need a way to ingest, cleanse, and make the most of that information so that it can be governed and monitored by IT. Make sure that you have a way to qualify and organise vast volumes of information so that your data can make a real difference.
  • Give everyone access to data: Finally, make sure that your business data is available to everyone who needs it. CIOs need to offer an easy-to-use and self-service solution to accessing critical information that team members can use to make decisions about how they interact with customers and each other daily.

The world, as we know it is awash with various types of business data. Unfortunately, for the time being, there are still only a few people that are really harnessing the information available to them to gain a competitive edge. Many people are so worried about how to store data and stay GDPR compliant that they forget that there are benefits to unlocking insights if they have the right data management strategy.