Employees analyzing the data on their computer screens. Source: AFP

Businesses need people that know what they’re doing with data. Source: AFP

How are data-driven businesses turning information into revenue?

A lot has been said about how valuable data is, especially in today’s digital age. However, data alone in its raw, unstructured form won’t be of any use. It must be converted into statistics, charts and graphs that can be analyzed for patterns and trends that can inform the business’s next move.

That’s where data’s real power lies.

According to a recent study, businesses that contextualize data into their operations and lead with analytics are able to grow their annual revenue by 5.3 percent. Not only that, but 97 percent of these data-driven enterprises are able to either meet or exceed their customer retention targets.

This is why over the last few years, businesses have been consistently told that they need to assess, process, analyze and contextualize the data that their operations generate.

These businesses are also more likely to launch new products that hit the mark with their audience, putting them a foot ahead of rivals.

Data is a critical ingredient in ensuring businesses are able to accurately satisfy market demands, improve products and services effectively, personalize marketing strategies, augment business operations, reduce operational costs, and boost profits.

The benefits of acting on as much as the information available are clear, so what are the some of the best approaches to becoming ‘data-driven’?

Focus on the talent

To tap into all these possibilities, enterprise leaders must adopt and practice a data-driven culture across the organization. Investing in hiring the right data talents and having a chief in-command would be a good start.

Data must be managed effectively, so having a team that can coordinate such a task would profoundly benefit the enterprise.

Invest in the resources

Leveraging the right analytics tools and business intelligence systems will foster the success of data teams even more. To be data leaders, enterprises shouldn’t shy away from making the right investments – and that also means provisioning some budget to train non-data teams as well.

Automating all data-related workflows and processes should also be on the agenda. Data teams can then focus on retrieving as much intelligence and insights as possible to mobilize new product development, coordinate improved marketing strategies and minimize without human errors.

Analysts in these teams could also benefit from artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that could help them process a larger amount of data and accelerate decision-making processes.

Sharpen the strategy

This then leads to the next move which is to define your data strategies and initiatives.

In doing so, enterprises must synchronize efforts with data teams to measure the volume of data that business is generating. Knowing the information assets an enterprise has can really help operations teams identify where they stand with data and the goals that should be achieved within a period of time.

Sync up the business

Now that the data infrastructure has been established, leaders have to make sure that all operational units are in-tune with the data initiatives.

To do that successfully, enterprises must focus on making data dashboards and tools available to the workforce. It’s really important that all teams are able to access relevant enterprise data and be empowered with data so that every decision made is based on analytical accuracy.

While it’s not always a walk in the part to win big with data, leading enterprises have proven that with the right strategies and mindset, all is possible. The key is to coordinate efforts with the entire workforce and trust the data.