Companies commonly known as "digital natives" – the Googles, Ubers and AirBnBs of this world – have one major thing in common: their business models are based solely on data. Traditional companies, on the other hand, are only just starting to think seriously about data. But how exactly do these two types of company differ in their approaches to data management? And why is it even worth bothering?
Digital natives have a totally data-driven mindset. For them, data is an asset – and that, quite simply, is the biggest difference between them and conventional businesses. Digital natives invest in the expertise and capabilities needed to manage data securely and strategically. By aggregating, optimizing and using their data intelligently, they are able to generate valuable information that they can use to anticipate key developments and boost sales.
One thing that often stands in the way of effective management of company data is a cultural divide between business departments and IT. Often, corporate IT people are not in the loop on what is happening in the business departments. Unfortunately, that also means they are not in a position to make the kind of big-picture connections needed to generate useful insights for the company. In other words, accessing high-quality data requires an integrated approach.
Quality data is especially important when it comes to customer-centric applications, because applications are only ever as good as the information they process and analyze. Understanding the customer journey and how customers engage with the company requires excellent-quality customer data. Business owners need to know what drives their customers so they can offer them help when they need it. Likewise, data on how customers relate to one another – be it within or outside of household units, in business or as influencers – can yield major insights into future needs.
All good data management strategies are customer centric. Businesses that manage their data securely and in a strategically integrated fashion are able to avoid data silos and enhance the quality of their customer information. The resulting refined data sets can then be used to optimize key applications used by employees, such as CRM software. The same applies to channel partner management. By matching channel partner data with partner locations, manufacturers can generate recommendations that are optimally tailored to customer requirements and locations.
So the lesson here is that data transforms markets. Unfortunately, most companies are not ready for the data deluge associated with data-driven business. Developing the necessary solutions in-house requires a huge investment of time and money and diverts companies’ focus away from their core business. Yet data-driven business is a growing trend they cannot afford to ignore – which is why most companies now treat it as a top-level management priority rather than a purely IT issue. And it’s also why data-centric solutions are so effective. Because, once again, applications are only as good as the data that’s fed into them.
Would you too like to unlock the full potential of your data? Then visit us at Stand B36 in Hall 5 at CeBIT 2016. We would be happy to advise you on our range of highly effective solutions that will help you to leverage your data securely and reliably for more accurate market insights and improved decision making.
About the author, Dirk Häußermann
Dirk Häußermann is CEO EMEA Central at Informatica.
In this role, he has headed the operating business of EMEA Central Europe in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since July 2013.
Dirk Häußermann has many years of executive managerial experience in the IT industry, including a lengthy stint at IBM Germany and, most recently, at Heiler Software AG, where he was a member of the board.