Data-driven decision-making: Get on with it!
Category : Blogs
While ‘online’ and ‘offline’ worlds continue to grow together and coalesce with the help of new technologies, a new breed of marketing and customer/vendor interaction is rising at a similarly rapid pace.As is typical with human nature, we need labels to encapsulate and rationalise the changes that we are seeing. So we are constantly creating new buzzwords, such as “datavores” or “omnichannel”, to describe what is happening around us. The problem is, when we are swamped with buzzwords, we often forget the two facts that always remain true for a successful business:
The customer needs to be central to everything
Historically, development in business typically led to multiple verticals or silos being created – each with its own ‘channel’ of delivery and its own set of data – that are often related by name only.This evolution has generally occurred in order to meet the business’s needs, but has resulted in many businesses being inefficiently structured and thus unable to confront the customers’ needs effectively.Businesses are now starting to see the problems that come from this type of configuration, and a number are trying to change their culture and set up en-masse to meet their ‘new’ challenges.This brings me onto the second tenet for successful businesses:
Businesses need good data to make good decisions
The ‘Datavores’ of this modern world “gather online customer data intensively, subject this data to sophisticated analyses (such as controlled trials and data and text mining), and use what they learn to improve their business”. (The Rise Of The Datavore)We are at a point where people are finally realising that the rich, highly granular data that comes from digital channels can provide real value to an entire business. Applying common and long standing Business Intelligence, and scientific and mathematical practices, can help them to understand what the data is REALLY showing.Many businesses in this space are really only taking the first step into an exciting and ‘new’ multichannel data world. The online data is often still living within its online silo – waiting to be liberated. Data is key to breaking down the walls of these silos and an essential part of merging disparate departments and datasets. This is often a complex activity as these walls can be entrenched. But there is real value in tackling this challenge.It’s not only the big businesses that can benefit from this, and often the most value doesn’t come from vast development projects that end up with cathedrals of data. There is a huge amount to gain by taking the small steps required to join up the data from different sources within a silo itself. There are bridges to be built both between and within silos.That’s what we at Station10 call ‘turning the cogs of insight’ within a business. It’s often the smallest cog, in one silo, that makes the biggest difference. They help to drive all the other, larger cogs, and, the more you can integrate them, and make sure they work well together, the more effective your overall business will become.All of this – whether it’s single-, multi- or omni-channel data – is really about helping business to make the right decisions. Informed decision making is key to making any business more effective and efficient so that it best serves its consumer.If you would like to know how Station10 can help get your insight cogs turning, please get in touch.