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To make smarter business decisions, you need richer data. But the idea of richer data doesn’t simply mean more or different types of data. It means having all your data joined up, argues MeetTheBoss TV’s Ben Thompson.
At a recent summit, someone told me that to make smarter business decisions, you need
Sounds simple, right? After all, we now live in the data age, with more information than
we know what to do with. We’re awash with the stuff.
To give you a sense of scale, assume that 1 byte of data is equal to a single grain of rice.
That means that a megabyte equals eight sacks of rice, a terabyte is two container ships,
a petabyte covers an area the size of Manhattan and one zettabyte is enough rice to fill
the Pacific Ocean. According to IDC we’ll generate 40 zettabytes of information by 2020.
That’s a lot of rice.
But the idea of richer data doesn’t simply mean more or different types of data. It means
having all your data joined up – which in turn requires you to break down the siloes
between systems, channels and the various parts of the business. And that’s often
harder to do.
Pete Markey, CMO at the Post Office, is one marketing leader who recognises the
distinction. “It’s about getting out of those siloes and thinking about our true target
market,” he told us recently. “Understanding those insights, having that research, and
understanding how to use data as an asset.”
In fact, joining the dots between siloes, and delineating ownership and
responsibilities, is the first step towards making that data useful. And progress is being
made. For instance, Tim Sherwell, Global Commercial Excellence Director at
Astrazeneca, told us how he is in the process of developing an end-to-end customer
experience programme with data at its core. “It’s about driving the customer
experience, but demonstrating the organisational impact and connecting through to
sales leads,” he says.
Joined-up thinking. Systems that talk to one another. Data that presents a holistic
picture of your business. That’s what we mean by richer data. And that’s how you get to
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