Is data your most valuable sleeping asset?
From Netflix to Uber or Amazon to Airbnb, successful businesses use data to ensure exceptional customer experiences, drive innovation and uncover new revenue streams. Today's business leaders recognise the importance of mining data for insights that drive their business forward, facilitate decision-making and create a more efficient organisation.
Back in the day, data was a 'side order' or simply a by-product of technology-driven initiatives. That is changing fast. As organisations accelerate digital transformation programmes, they generate huge volumes of data that will not reveal any deep value without carefully designed architecture, purpose, and thinking. Ambitious companies today are positioning data solutions as a core ingredient of their business strategy and key to better business outcomes. In highly regulated industries, for example, data engineering is critical for managing risk and ensuring compliance.
Expensive and complex?
For other organisations, there is still the perception that data engineering is expensive and complex. They often lack the specialist knowledge and expertise internally to ideate, build and exploit a data solution that will make a tangible difference to the business. Creating the business case to invest in a data engineering solution often requires taking a step into the unknown.
Working with data specialists who are skilled at problem-solving and lateral thinking, as well as equipped with a good understanding of your industry, can kick-start an organisation's data journey to better business outcomes. But like all journeys, the first step is knowing where you are headed, so start with a clear goal. Take these four data stories for example:
A risky business
When a world-leading online gaming and betting firm grew and moved into new markets that were constantly evolving and demanding new products, it was essential to comply with diverse local regulations in every operating territory.
Managing risk during a period of fast growth and change was top of the agenda. The decision-makers knew they needed help designing and building a data solution tailored to their specific needs that would
- Help them stay compliant
- Provide data in real-time for risk management
- Anticipate customer demand
Today the company has real-time visibility of its betting business and consequent liabilities. With a high-performance data solution, their global bets and associated liabilities are easily and readily visible to key trading staff, who are now equipped to manage risks in real-time.
Robust and high-performing
In the online publishing business, understanding audience behaviour to drive engagement and conversion can mean the difference between success and failure. The analytics, segmentation and targeting tools required to build engaged, profitable subscribers demand a data solution that can keep up.
When the Financial Times needed to migrate a mission-critical, on-premise database to a resilient, high-performing cloud platform supporting its digital content business of over 1m subscribers, the business requirement was around delivering a robust solution with exceptional performance characteristics.
The new cloud data infrastructure meets this challenge. Performance has increased 30x, with some access times 100x faster, all whilst satisfying enhanced business continuity objectives.
The right price
The insurance industry has always been a data-driven sector, with an understanding of past events key to future profitability. Data engineering is one way to help leverage the value of the information generated by the business and create lasting value. In a highly competitive sector where margins are tight, data-driven insight can provide a much-needed advantage.
Data engineers who understand the industry-specific challenges at play, and who have the expertise, are able to model billions of scenarios and provide the tools so that firms can price more effectively. The value-add from engaging with data specialists comes from insights around specific or unusual scenarios that may arise. That helps Sales & Marketing have an ongoing understanding of their competitive landscape while helping the business manage its risks.
More than a matter of quality
In the complex business of manufacturing and logistics, visibility of the end-to-end process is key to performance management and quality control. Every hour thousands of activities take place within the supply chain and manufacturing process. Today's organisations have new ambitious goals to deliver quality more sustainably, improving production efficiency while reducing waste. Unlocking the logistics puzzle and addressing quality issues before they impact production will save time and reduce waste. By designing and building a data solution that will surface actionable insights and create predictive analysis, managers can drive business performance to the next level.
Value in partnership
If these stories have helped persuade you to get serious about finding more value in your data, you’ll want to start looking to engage with a software engineering partner. The secret to a great data partnership lies in the approach. To get real value from data, partners need to do more than demonstrate they have capability and domain experience. A great technology partner will show they have the kind of culture – the mindset, behaviours, and processes - that will encourage the data teams to lead to a value-add experience while delivering your goals.
Need to make the case for a data solution?
For more data stories and insights to help unlock your next data venture, join our data specialists, and guest panellist, Elena Georgieva, Technical Director at the Financial Times:
- Where are the quick wins and big data wins?
- How do you maximise the return on your effort?
- How to make a strong business case for data investment?
- What are the common pitfalls to avoid?