Building a Winning Data Strategy
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In an era of constant change, companies’ data and analytics capabilities must rapidly adapt to ensure that the business survives, never mind competes. Organizations seek insights from their data to inform strategic priorities in real time, yet much of the historical data and modeling formerly applied to predict future behavior and guide actions are proving to be far less predictive, or even irrelevant, in our current normal with COVID-19.
In order to survive through crises, proactively detect trends, and respond to new challenges, companies need to develop greater analytical agility. This agility comes from three areas: improving the quality and connections of the data itself, augmenting analytical “horsepower” at the organization level, and leveraging talent that is capable of bridging business needs with analytics to find opportunity in the data.
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The Answers Are in the Data
The quest for better data is not new, but the cost of not having it is easier to substantiate and understand in a time of crisis. Gaps in data quality — whether it’s time-lagged, disconnected, insufficient in granularity, or poorly curated (rendering analysis slow or impossible) — become intolerable amid chaos when companies must act quickly. Crises can be opportunities to augment data quality and further enrich the data to better serve customers and the company.
Making the business case for data investments suddenly makes sense as business leaders live through data gap implications in real time. Monetizing data typically comes from four sources:
- Connecting data with other data differently than before.
- Getting new data sources, or more specific levels of the same data you already had.
- Putting data to better or faster use than the competition.
- Getting data faster.
Data and analytics leaders must frame investments in the current context and prioritize data investments wisely by taking a complete view of what is happening to the business across a number of functions. For example, customers bank very differently in a time of crisis, and this requires banks to change how they operate in order to accommodate them. The COVID-19 pandemic forced banks to take another look at the multiple channels their customers traverse — branches, mobile, online banking, ATMs — and how their comfort levels with each shifted. How customers bank, and what journeys they engage in at what times and in what sequence, are all highly relevant to helping them achieve their financial goals.