A company that uses only 20% of its raw production material and sends the other 80% straight to a dumpster would certainly not last long in today’s hyper-competitive business world. And yet, this is exactly the kind of resource mismanagement in which companies all over the globe are engaging – only, instead of wasting raw production material, companies are wasting their data. Most companies are using only about 20% of their data when making business intelligence decisions, leaving 80% to sit in a metaphorical dumpster.
If a company was wasting raw production materials, company leaders would likely call for a strategic reset to address the issue with the company as a whole, yet most discussions involving data go no further than a company’s IT department. The use of hidden data, or data that are siloed away in a company’s various departments, as well as metadata, needs to be viewed as a strategic guidepost for any company that wants to be successful in today’s global economy.
Data garnered from the sales department can inform marketing, the marketing team’s data can contribute to customer service, customer satisfaction reports can influence operations. Hidden data and metadata are a treasure trove of untapped productivity – read on to learn ways companies can best leverage this asset.
Identify Gaps in Data ‘Intelligence’
Hidden data are most beneficial in regards to customer behavior. Customers interact with companies today in a variety of mediums, from in-person to over the phone to online. Data can be invaluable on when, how, and why customers interface with a company, but it is rarely utilized.
More than likely, companies already have this data, but it may be inaccessible simply because company leaders are unaware of its existence. Using solutions such as Datumize Real Demand, companies can begin asking the right questions to be able to leverage this data when making decisions in the areas of customer service, operations, sales, and more.
Centralize Hidden Data
Companies experiencing rapid growth often accumulate data also rapidly – but too frequently, this data are siloed in different company departments and consequently is of no use to anyone. An average large company has eight different storage databases, and 66% of companies in today’s marketplace do not have a coherent and, more importantly, centralized approach to data collection and usage. Standardizing data collection tools and consolidating data in one central location can be the first step to eliminating a company’s hidden data problem.
View the Use of Hidden Data in Decision Making as a Business-Driven Effort
Strategies around data collection and usage should no longer be discussed solely within a company’s IT department. Successful CEOs make data a cornerstone of their company’s overall business strategy, which requires more sophisticated data-handling techniques and increased accountability, given the immense value of leveraging data as an asset.
A company should assess its agenda and goals, and determine how the use of data can help further its vision. To ensure departmental buy-in, companies should pilot a data project that will demonstrate a tangible return on investment and the benefits of incorporating data into a company-wide analytics strategy.
Through the development of new capabilities and strategies regarding hidden data use, companies can familiarize themselves with data processing enough to extend these strategies to customers, vendors, and business partners. A well-executed data analysis effort should become part of a company’s reference architecture that others can draw upon.
Find the Right Partner in Working with Hidden Data
When taking into account the value of data, a company should find the right data service to use as a partner. There are three absolute must-haves when considering a data service:
- - A clear understanding of the company’s market and needs in order to help identify compelling insights and new KPIs.
- - Strong technological infrastructure, to ensure robustness and security, as well as long-term sustainability and scalability.
- - Excellent customer support.
- - A service provider meeting these three needs will be a valuable asset.
Data analysis is no longer a task that should be relegated to a company’s IT department. With the enormous value previously siloed hidden data and metadata can bring to a company, particularly through informing decision-making, effective data usage should become a company’s top priority. The involvement of C-level executives and other key company figures is necessary in order to ensure that hidden data are discovered and used effectively to enhance the company’s assets and standing. Data are the future, and no company can afford to be left behind.