Data is not the new oil: we are moving to renewable energy
When you search Google for ‘Data is the new oil’, you get about 2.360.000.000 results within 0,71 seconds. In other words: these days data is perceived more valuable than oil. What is more interesting though, is the fact that the world is slowly abandoning fossil fuels, like oil, in favour of renewable energy sources. So, if the world is transitioning away from oil for something more sustainable, what does that mean for your data strategy?
The buzz around ‘data is the new oil’
This phrase was first used in The Economist a few years ago. The assumption was that oil had a significant impact on the industrial revolution since it allowed us to produce more and travel around the world. It made it possible for society to change. And now, data is being referred to as the ‘new oil’ with the same idea in mind. Once properly refined, it will fuel the next wave of societal transformation. However, the world is running out of oil and there are many negative connotations associated with it.
Data, on the other hand, is growing exponentially and is a (renewable) gift to all organisations. Instead of relying on your gut feeling, you can make educated decisions using data. Your decisions will change, allowing you to explore correlations and the effects of your decisions as well as providing you with new information. Data is a continuous stream that is always renewing itself.
Are you able to keep up with the never-ending stream of data?
Data is continuously changing, because your business is ever-evolving. This is also true of your competitors and customers. Organisations are struggling with the constant need for data collection and analysis. For instance, how far back in time should we go to model the future? Historical statistics are useful, but they can be based on outdated information, whereas the latest data is most significant, since it can bring new insights and has the best predictive power.
If you can keep up with the never-ending cycle of data, of course. And by cycle we mean the continuous transformation of data and context: you gather data, make decisions, and as a result the environment and data change. Imagine you start to offer a discount on Wednesdays. Because the context of your data changes, it’s critical that you take this price change into account with regard to analytics. If you don’t, new insights can be misleading.
Your data strategy should be updated
We operate in a dynamic environment where amount of data grows at an exponential rate every day. As a result, you must act in accordance with your data strategy:
- To begin, assess your company’s current situation. Create a complete picture of where your company is now, what’s going on and where you want your organisation to go.
- Second, make sure you have a short turnaround time when it comes to adjusting your analytics to the new context. Whether it’s due to changes in the environment (e.g. demand, regulations, competitors) or changes initiated by the organisation itself.
This requires not only the ability to deliver reports, but also the proper methodology to embed these reports within your organisation. Many organisations today are struggling to both collect their data, and distribute it in an effective manner. You might therefore put an automated system and procedure in place to keep up with all of these changes and make necessary adjustments.
Modernize your data platform
In addition to a renewed data strategy, you need a modern data platform in order to innovate and work in a data-driven manner. How do you systematically bring data from various systems and applications together? And how can you turn business processes into data processes? All of this and more can be found in our whitepaper on data platform modernization.
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