How to reach your business goals with data

Leverage the data you already have, says Shadi Bakhour


Rise of big data

The rise of big data and the IoT

With the growing threat of security breaches and insidious entities gaining access to organizational data, there’s been much written about how to protect that data and mitigate risks. But for all the dangers new technology brings, its positive benefits far outweigh any negatives.

Consider how the rise of big data and the Internet of Things are revolutionizing day-to-day operations for companies across all industries. Business leaders are becoming more connected to their customers through acquired data, they are monitoring their competition with analytical reporting through their business intelligence (BI) solutions, and they are parsing big datasets in-house to predict future trends – a major step forward for critical and strategic decision-making.

Today, businesses are privy to more data insights than ever before – the trick is how they are able to harness that data. When the right software is employed, data scientists and chief data officers can leverage new learnings and use those insights to tailor their offerings and services to a wider customer base.

How data connects everyone

How data connects everyone and everything

There’s no arguing that the amount of data that’s been created in recent years is more than in the entire history of mankind. If that already boggles the mind, consider that in the next three years the amount of stored data we hold will triple.

Data is altering our world, but rather than always focusing on the negatives, such as security threats, it’s crucial that business leaders recognize its positive impacts and how it is able to connect communities – only then can they fully utilize the power of data to make informed, strategic decisions. Consider these simple ways data is connecting everyone and everything:

  • Social: Digital social platforms are bringing people and societies together, and this is a potentially lucrative resource for organizations that understand how to analyze certain metrics (avg. revenue per user, revenue/cost per click, monthly active users, etc.).
  • New ways to search: Big data and the IoT have kick-started a rapid evolution of the way we are able to search. Digital indexes and query languages for keyword searches; index tables where automated BI apps can query, locate and fetch the required data – all achieved in record times compared to human searches.
  • Advanced services: Data is helping industries such as healthcare and agriculture adjust to changing global patterns. In healthcare, for example, advancements in distributed compute and storage mean AI-enabled machines can analyze data patterns from multiple angles in order to generate the best solution (i.e. treatment) for patients.

Data for growth

Being data-forward for positive growth

No matter the industry, business leaders are finding that harnessing their own data – and data from disparate sources – is helping them break from the norm and embrace new paths to profitability. In fact, almost two in three (64%) businesses say that big data is changing “traditional boundaries.”

So how can analyzing data draw out the type of results to promote company growth? And, arguably more importantly, how can business leaders use those results to personalize their client offering for greater profitability?

It can be achieved in four easy steps:

  1. Collect: Where is your data coming from? Do you want social data, transactional data, data collected from RFID or GPS chip readings?
  2. Evaluate: Determine how relevant and accurate the collected data is to your business operations. Eliminate any inaccurate or flawed data – or information with multiple ‘versions of the truth’ – before spending money on analyzing it.
  3. Visualize: Time to analyze the data. Depending on how involved your stakeholders want to be in decision-making, visualizing the data can help everyone across all departments understand the outcomes.
  4. Action: Analyzing data will only deliver a return on investment if you put those insights to use. Recognize whether you want to use data to drive profits, increase security, or otherwise, and then turn those insights into actionable steps.

The amount of data organizations store and analyze will only continue to grow. In order to get the best possible insights that can feed into better internal decision-making, you need to harness the power of your data today.

Written by Shadi Bakhour
B2B Business Unit Director, Canon Middle East

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