During disruption, organisations are forced to pivot and quickly respond. While you can plan for potential events, it isn’t until a change occurs that the organisation is tested. Resiliency is rooted in data. When organisations develop a response plan, they need transparency and an understanding of how to leverage and optimise data. Make your data a competitive advantage—especially when disruption requires quick action. A data strategy is crucial to truly maximise the value of enterprise data. As a general rule, any data strategy should be evaluated every three to five years to ensure it continues to align with the long-term goals of the overall business. But with unanticipated disruption—whether internal to the organisation or resulting from external factors such as a storm or economic downturn—immediate action is required. To weather the storm, disruption demands organisations act swiftly and with agility. They can only do that with accurate, real-time data. It needs to be collected, evaluated and optimised—on a moment’s notice.
Plan, Activate, Evaluate
COVID-19 has tested the world in ways not seen since World War II. To survive the pandemic, organisations needed to leverage data more effectively, get scrappy and evolve. Every industry was impacted—some more than others, but no one was immune. Companies quickly shifted to a remote workforce, technology projects were delayed or expediated, and many had to reduce headcount. Companies able to stay open in some form were required to rethink how they deliver their goods and services. The supply chain was squeezed, and organisations at all ends of it had to adapt. Unprecedented change forced immediate adjustments for survival. Instead of having weeks or months to plan and make decisions, organisations had to act in a matter of days or even hours.
The pandemic is an extreme example of market disruption. But disruption takes many forms, and it seems impossible to prepare for every scenario. In the face of any uncertainty, the value of data is paramount. It is the difference between gut feeling and evidence-based, informed decision-making. Leveraging data, organisations can make real-time decisions with confidence; it enables and influences their ability to be agile, work smarter. And agility is critical in order to respond to disruption. Organisations need to plan a business model, act on collecting data relentlessly and reconfigure the business model if data suggests the plan isn’t working.
More often than not, disruption isn’t immediately apparent. Change happens incrementally, almost imperceptibly. That’s why businesses need to be in the proper position to take advantage of data insights. Across industries, data is driving the future, enabling digital transformation, empowering automation and informing businesses’ evolution. All are working with similar goals in mind: reduce costs, increase revenue, mitigate risk and improve the customer experience. Data analytics acts as a leading indicator with the power and potential to guide industries through their evolving business strategy as they aim for these goals.
Shift Smartly with Data
Change is constant. How organisations respond and adapt to it is the variable. Although it was previously viewed as a supporting asset, data has evolved into a mission-critical component to success and the catalyst for change. Data fuels digital transformation strategies across the enterprise. Whether responding to disruption or continuing business as usual, data is the competitive advantage if—and only if—leveraged appropriately. Think of it as a journey, not a single solution for a snapshot in time.
You must have a vision for where your organisation intends to go in the next three to five years, and then continuously adjust by way of the insights and opportunities your modern data strategy generates. Data lets organisations shift smartly.
Spend is constantly being scrutinised. A well-devised data strategy can enable cost savings, increase revenue, mitigate risk and improve user experiences. To maximize the value of your data strategy and enterprise data:
- Create clarity: Clearly define data platforms and get consensus on how data is defined and managed across the enterprise.
- Identify opportunities to innovate and transform: Many companies have been forced to change business models, evolve the way they interact with customers and enhance existing services. Use data to do things differently, while engaging customers in meaningful ways. Make the data capture worth the investment.
- Monitor the supply chain: Visibility across all layers of the supply chain is critical to forecasting needs and understanding where there are gaps (e.g., from warehouses, raw materials suppliers, assemblers, wholesalers, individual retailers/distributors).
- Nurture talent: Finding a good cultural fit can be the hardest part. Upskill existing talent when possible. Think about how automation and machine-learning tools can simplify your technology so a broader population of employees can derive value and insights from your analytics.
- Cultivate a data-driven culture: Create a cultural mindset that sees and believes in the value of data, trusts and relies on it to pivot and make sound business decisions, with greater confidence.