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What is a data driven company and how to deal with change

data driven company


If you analyze the current Italian and international business landscape it is clear that companies have now understood how much data at their disposal are a fundamental resource.

This is because the data, if collected, selected, organized and interpreted in the right way, provides valuable information to a company that wants to remain competitive and scale the market.

We are therefore in a moment of transition in which many companies tend towards data-based decision-making, which excludes any subjective dynamics or personal feelings, abandoning the more traditional methods.

It is more than a methodology or a process: it is a new mindset that involves every business figure. For this reason it is more correct to talk about data-driven approach.

What is the data driven approach?

Literally the term “data-driven” can be translated as “being driven by data”.

It means collecting the data that you have available, organizing it, selecting it, analyzing it and finally interpreting it to get the information that every corporate figure is able to read.

The data thus becomes the undisputed protagonist in the decision-making process, eliminating any element of subjectivity.

In order for information to be read and interpreted properly, it is necessary to use technologies that are able to automate and speed up data collection, selection and analysis.

The data-driven approach overturns the hierarchical structure of the old decision-making processes by placing every business subject, from leader to employee, able to propose decisions or strategies resulting from the information provided by the data analysis.

It is the so-called democratization of data, which allows its access to all departments (even those with less technical skills) without having to resort to a centralized IT department.

cultura data drive bluebi

What are data driven companies?

According to what has been said so far we can define data driven company that company capable of transmitting within each department a culture of data. That reality that conceives the data driven approach not only as a simple methodology, but as a new way of understanding the corporate decision-making processes.

All this must of course be accompanied by the right skills: having the right technologies, a trained staff of the appropriate processes.

Having a data driven culture for a company helps to anticipate the needs of its customers and meet them, optimize internal processes, create innovative products or services, differentiate on the market and create new business models. In short: acquire a significant competitive advantage.

It is easy to deduce that to compete and dominate the market in the future will be all those companies able to own the data driven approach. Knowing how to use the data in this sense will determine the difference between all those companies that have managed to differentiate themselves from those that struggle to emerge.

The data driven culture

Two enabling factors for a data driven culture are the aforementioned democratization of the data (which then becomes an information available to all) and the sharing of information.

Collaboration between departments becomes essential because, once you get information through a data-driven process, you need to share it (for example, through shared dashboards that highlight key information) to develop appropriate new strategies.

If, therefore, it is the ability to transmit to all internal departments a data culture that defines the data driven company, the question that arises is: how do you implement a data-driven culture?

We can consider three essential elements for the implementation of a data-driven culture:

  • Training: if the goal is to move away from the popular centralized IT department, it is clear that every department needs to be trained to develop the skills needed to work with data and to interpret the information provided by new technologies. It is also likely that not all figures have the same level of knowledge, but this is not a limit if you put everyone in a position to collaborate.
  • Technology: the introduction of enabling tools and technologies such as Data Wharehouse, CRM, Data Lakes and Machine Learning are essential for a data-driven approach that involves automation and optimization of the collection phases, data selection, organisation and analysis.
  • Mentality: changing mindsets means abandoning established behaviors to introduce new ones, and this can be complicated for both an employee and a company CEO. You have to work step by step with the awareness that every new habit takes time to be learned.

Is the data-driven approach available to everyone?

The most important issue regarding the implementation of a data-driven approach is the difference in level of acculturation between the various corporate figures.

If a large company can rely on trainers or Business Translator and generally has more possibilities to work on a cultural alignment, smaller realities must work from smaller steps.

The goal is to bring each figure to abandon the habits of the old decision-making processes to embrace the new approach that sees every reasoning starting exclusively from the data.

The data driven culture is not exclusive to large companies, but can also be implemented within smaller companies as long as you find ways to make the team aware of this new mindset to be acquired, implementing the appropriate management of change.

Tools and technologies to introduce data-driven decision-making

Becoming a full-fledged data driven company therefore forces you to introduce new technologies and tools that optimize data-based decision-making within your company.

Probably the most important tool is represented by Data Wharehouses, collection and organization systems that allow you to store large amounts of data from different sources. Fundamental to support Business Intelligence activities, Data Wharehouses are also useful because they allow you to create a history of the data collected enabling the generation of business reports more significant than you can get from a single software.

In addition to Data Wharehouses, there are also Data Lakes, which are necessary to manage large amounts of raw and unstructured data. Data Lake is also the tool that facilitates Advanced Analysis through Machine Learning.

After the data collection step, Business Intelligence solutions come into play that allow you to get meaningful insights and actionable data immediately. In addition to receiving descriptive information, it is possible to integrate advanced data analysis techniques, such as Data Mining, essential to identify patterns and trends and give useful information to support business decisions.

As you can easily guess, the technological scenario related to Artificial Intelligence systems is really wide and evolving, but for a company that today aspires to be competitive in the market it is important first of all to face a change in mindset.

Only in this way will he have the opportunity to speed up his transformation process and become a data driven company.

We realize Business Intelligence & Advanced Analytics solutions to transform simple data into information of freat strategic value.

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