What It Means to Be Data-Driven, and How to Get There
There's a great blog post today by consulting firm Silicon Valley Data Science about what it truly means to be a data-driven organization. Vice President Edd Dumbill writes, "When we talk about being data-driven, what we actually mean is that we would like to make decisions based on the best data, made available to the most people." He goes on to add that, "The point of being data-driven is to be able to take action. It’s an upgrade to the traditional reporting functions of analytics: we’re moving the use of data into the everyday operation of our business."
We've found that the most successful data-driven organizations have two things in common. First, they have the right mindset. Stakeholders at all levels - whether they're the CEO, a department manager, or an operational worker - understand that there is substantial value contained within information assets, and want to tap into it to make decisions based on something more substantial than intuition or HIPPOs (highest paid person's opinion). Second, they have the right supporting tools. Technologies are strategically leveraged to ensure that information is accessible, of the highest quality, and available to everyone (and I mean everyone) who takes part in decision-making, in ways that are relevant to their role.
Information Builders customer RealD, a licensor of 3D and other visual technologies to motion picture distributors, is a terrific example of how to create a data-driven culture the right way. As it strives to become more data-driven and metrics-based, the company exploits information from internal operational systems as well as from publicly available sources to obtain aggregate views of box office admissions by film, theater, exhibitor, and other variables. RealD does this by organizing information among its systems, addressing data quality issues, and visualizing information in meaningful ways - through dashboards, reports, and even interactive maps. It was even able to affect organizations that it didn’t control – theater chains – by demonstrating the value of 3D in generating revenue worldwide.
Now, everyone from company executives to accounts receivable staff and exhibitor customers have easy access to high-quality information to support decisions about everything from equipment yields and billing, to revenue trends, moviegoer demographics, and promotions. This not only provides insight into industry dynamics, it has a positive impact on revenue.
To get started on your own data strategy framework, check out this complementary white paper. It will serve as a guide, complete with checklists and considerations, for developing a data strategy that will drive performance higher in a world transformed by digital trends.