How to maintain a data-driven company

Here’s how you can maintain a data-driven company without seeing your IT costs skyrocket upwards, and what kind of team members you’ll need on your side to do it

10Jan

Success in the 21st century is all but defined by a company's ability to tap into the power of data to derive new insights into their market and maintain a competitive edge, but many small businesses are struggling when it comes to surviving as a data-driven company. Making use of a dizzying maelstrom of data is no easy feat and you need a solid team of IT gurus on your side if you want your company to succeed when it comes to data analytics.

Here's how you can maintain a data-driven company without seeing your IT costs skyrocket upwards, and what kind of team members you'll need on your side to do it.

Separating the signal from the noise

One of the hidden keys to success when it comes to making it as a data-driven company is learning about how to separate the signal from the noise. This means you must learn to excel when it comes to deriving useful insights from otherwise incomprehensible mountains of data, as no amount of information is useful if you can't meaningfully work with it. Thanks to recent advancements in the realm of data analytics, it's easier than ever before to strictly focus on that information which is pertinent to the task at hand.

If you delve into industry research, you'll quickly discover that most companies which are making it as data-driven enterprises are learning to foster positive data cultures which enable their employees to get the most out of the information age. Having a good company data culture matters precisely because it democratizes data, enabling your rank-and-file workers to enjoy as much access to insightful information as your managers and senior leadership figures do.

Building a data culture is the first step towards assembling an expert team of IT professionals who can ensure that your company stays competitive regardless of whichever technological hurdles arise in its path to success. Even if your managers and other leadership figures have a strong grasp of IT concepts, you'll need savvy tech gurus who can explain complex technical problems and their solutions to your everyday employees. It's worth reading into how to build a winning team when it comes to big data if you're really committed to the idea of running a data-driven company.

Once you've begun to construct a data culture for your company and have recruited a few IT experts into your ranks, you're well on your way toward mastering data science in the modern marketplace. Unless you want to stumble and waste money on the same failures as other businesses, however, it's still worth your while to read up on common failures most enterprises encounter on the road towards becoming a data powerhouse.

Study other data enterprises to succeed

You should be aware of the common characteristics shared by successful data-driven enterprises if you truly want to join their ranks one day. After all, studying what makes the competition tick is the only real way you can get a leg up on those who might lure away some of your vital customers. If your company is to become a leader in the realm of data analytics and management, your executives will need to be prepared to lead by example when it comes to staying up to date in the 21st century.


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One of the most common characteristics of data-driven companies is that they have dynamic executives in leadership positions who are empowered to make difficult choices when the need arises. The market is ever-changing and if your company's decision-makers can't change with the times and exercise the agency they need to succeed, your hopes of becoming a data-driven enterprise are thin. After all, the value we derive from data is almost entirely based on how it serves our human decision-makers. Don't let all this talk about leadership fool you into thinking you can get away with avoiding investments when it comes to the data-savviness of your rank and file workers, either.

Democratizing your data so that everyone in your company has access to the most valuable insights is a necessary step towards becoming a respectable data powerhouse. You can only stand out in your industry if you have the human capital needed to success in a complex marketplace, so making sure that your workers are educated and familiar with the latest developments in your industry is an essential part towards using data effectively. If your workers can't actually make use of the insights you derive from data, much of your investments when it comes to analytics will have been made in vain.

Finally, it's worth remembering that too much data can be a bad thing. Truly data-driven companies focus on that information which is the most crucial towards their industry and know when not to be misled by alluring numbers. Keep yourself grounded in a world of dizzying numbers, and you'll soon be maintaining a data-driven company that's the envy of your competitors.

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