Gaining commercial benefit from big data requires companies to carefully design the business questions to target via analytics and act on the insights generated.
Research has shown that companies that excel in data-driven decision-making will significantly outperform their competitors, and that this advantage will continue to increase over time, according to a blog post by David Meer, a partner with Strategy& (formerly Booz and Co.). However, many companies still are trying to identify the high-value business questions that can be answered using analytics.
Meer describes a big data maturity framework that can help companies make the most of data analysis:
- Leveraging key performance indicators and dashboards for performance management including financial reporting, compliance monitoring and performance measurement
- Boosting functional area performance in marketing, logistics and other areas
- Personalizing the customer experience, which can then present returns via premium pricing, cross-selling and retention
- Creating data-centric business models
While most companies in developing economies have some experience in the first stage of the maturity framework, only a minority have reached subsequent stages, Meer goes on to note.
“Decision makers need to embrace data-driven decision making, and this is often difficult for executives who are used to relying on their instincts and intuition.”
Moreover, there is a severe shortage of employees trained in using the latest data analysis techniques.
Meer suggests firms take these steps to advance within the big data maturity framework:
- Design a clear data strategy and identify data that is critical to changing business models
- Use pilot projects to prove the value of analytics
- Recruit and train managers to ask the right questions
- Champion big data as integral to operations
- Nurture a data-driven culture where insight from data is valued more than intuition
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