Data and analytics are the foundation of any digital transformation initiative. Every organization that aims to enhance digital experiences knows that they must rely on data in one form or the other. Insights derived from data help companies determine market trends, analyze web traffic, rationalize customer demands, weigh actionable options, and plan corporate strategies.
Data also acts as a catalyst in enhancing digital experiences for organizations. It is required at every digital touchpoint– be it a website, social media channel, native app, IoT devices, etc. As a result, high-quality, accurate, and democratically available data can truly complement the digital experiences delivered by any company. Only by establishing a data-driven culture in the company, one can govern, steward, and deliver optimized data across every digital touchpoint – thus unlocking the true potential of today’s Digital Experience Platforms (DXPs).
The key accelerator of digitization
A recent report by Forrester suggests that customer-obsessed “insight-driven businesses” are on the rise. These firms rely on extracting and implementing insights throughout the organization to get an edge over their competition. Such firms are growing at a rate of more than 30% annually. Furthermore, Gartner predicts that information will become a critical enterprise asset and analytics will be an essential competency for 90% of corporate strategies by 2022.
In such an age, a company that rests on data-centricity is sure to boom in innovation and customer orientation. Data-driven company culture is a blend of digital technologies and clean, consistent, complete data along with effective decision-making. It, therefore, is enough to create foundational scalability, flexibility, and growth. DXPs too, being architected to facilitate companies in digital transformation, largely depend on such company culture. DXPs provide a framework to digitize operations, collect actionable insights, and deliver compelling customer experiences. They seamlessly connect people, data, technology, business, and things in a digital fabric and manage all digital assets and content in consolidation. DXP platforms, therefore, cannot unleash maximum results until the business completely embraces data at its core.
However, data-driven culture is not something that you can import. It must be cultivated, and data values must be infused till the very top of the organizational hierarchy. The essence of this culture must percolate through the layers of the company and accumulate in all business verticals. It is an iterative process that must evolve with business requirements. The extent of the cultural development, in the end, depends on the processes and capabilities at different levels of the organization.
Moving ahead with a “Data Mindset”
Here are a few steps that business leaders can take to ensure data is present at the root of all functions-
- Frame a data strategy in line with your business goals – Leaders must not dive head-first into formulating data strategies. Instead, they should begin with defining exact business requirements. What is their long-term vision and mission? What are their objectives and how data can be instrumental in achieving them? Business authorities must be clear on likely questions and then they can strategize their plans with data. Once that is in place, communicating the impact to employees and adopting them across the organization becomes an easy task.
- Encourage data democratization – Move from siloed to a consolidated culture where clean and consistent data is accessible anywhere and by anyone. The knowledge of data must not be barred to a restricted number of people. It should flow throughout the organization. This way it can be utilized optimally and analyzed in new dimensions and perspectives. Rather than being limited to a select few departments, democratization makes data omnipresent to all teams. It not only increases data transparency and usage, but also boosts collaboration between teams.
- Test your data practices regularly and keep upgrading them – Leadership must not stagnate with one data practice in this age of continual data influx. Data practices must evolve constantly without fail for companies to be at par with competition and technology disruption. You should keep testing the outcome of current strategies and taking feedback from cross-functional teams to detect and improvise on pain points. You must experiment to zero down on the best data gathering, management, and analytics approach for your company. Data practices should always impact your capabilities positively – never limiting the functionalities of your teams. This incessant practice is essential to keep your digital efforts updated with market trends and be prepared for the future.
- Looking after data in creative ways – The datasphere is never going to stop expanding. Data will grow in both volume and complexity over time. Data sources too will increase as the communication channels grow in number and intricacy. But capturing new data does not reduce the value of warehousing the data that was previously gathered. As head of your company, you must ensure that data integrity is not compromised in all the hustle. You must find new ways to administer storage and flow of data, keeping a close eye on security and accuracy. Evaluate the IT infrastructure and frame it to support your data needs. By banking on the modularity and flexibility offered by advanced platforms, you can revamp the critical functions of your organization to support this cause.
- Link data with business aims – Data-driven culture can truly be realized when your initiatives match with your objectives. For the long sustenance of your data strategies, not only your company goals but your team’s deliverables should map directly to the data-driven initiatives. Also, the teams must know how data consistency across different channels impacts customer behavior. Leaders should enable all the teams to identify, analyze, and leverage direct associations.
Deliver intuitive digital experiences with data
In the digital era, the importance of data is second to none. Leading organizations in every industry are wielding data and analytics as competitive weapons and operational catalysts for digitization and transformation efforts. Where traditional business models and analog processes discount their potential, DXPs can help brands craft personalized and customized moments of realization for customers. But that is only possible when they have access to complete and correct data.
With a DXP, a data-driven company can:
- Immediately identify the requirements for complete customer experience. Companies can achieve scalable customization when they are able to analyze all the stages of their customer’s buying cycle.
- Derive actionable insights to evolve with the customer journey and develop competencies across teams.
- Improve their team’s abilities to both analyze and weave stories around data by training them on data literacy and building a ‘data mindset’.
A data-driven culture stems from data-driven leadership. First and foremost, the vision should be clear, precise and aligned to the business goals. Once the top of the organization is aligned with data strategies, the mindset will eventually trickle down to lower levels creating a wave on its own. The next step is monitoring the cultural manifestation and supporting the shift to digitization with modern tools.