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Data should be a driving force for your business, but too often, the way in which enterprises are accessing data is putting the brakes on their success.
Being a data-driven business means using your operational data in conjunction with analytical data to determine and execute the next best action.
That’s the theory anyway.
In practice, this type of data-driven infrastructure and operation has been hard for organisations to achieve. In this post, we look at why it’s time to replace the capital and work-intensive barriers to being genuinely data-driven with a brand-new model, one that is accessible and affordable for all businesses.
Before we get into the detail, it’s worth taking a moment to define our terms as there’s a big difference between making use of data and being data-driven. To illustrate the point, imagine these two different scenarios.
In the first scenario, you are in the driver’s seat of your car. Your sat nav is receiving data and giving you the next best direction to arrive at your destination. Data is directing you, but you are still the driver.
In the second scenario, you are in a self-driving car. The data dictates the route, but the vehicle can also use this data to decide upon and execute the next best action. That’s what it is to be data-driven.
Operational data is being put to work alongside analytical data, in real-time and the next best course of action is being not only formulated but executed. It’s a powerful formula and, as you can imagine, has far-reaching use cases.
For example, in the context of fashion retail, this could apply to the online order and fulfilment of a dress, circumnavigating any bumps along the road with the next best action (dress not in stock? Here’s an alternative, etc.).
Another use case would be a property search website, bringing customer search criteria and history into play alongside dynamic external data sources, surfacing search results within an intelligent ranking.
One more example? How about a purchasing team in an FMCG company looking to automate their stock purchase at the optimum moment against a fluctuating exchange rate.
I could go on.
The business case seems pretty clear, so why are all businesses not data-driven?
While the use cases may be strong, along with the business gains they bring, unfortunately, the barriers are pretty strong too. In brief, it’s these three roadblocks that have been getting in the way.
The data exists, but it’s siloed in a myriad of separate (often legacy) systems and formats.
Let’s imagine that you can bring it all together into one format, in one place. Now you need to find the highly skilled (and scarce) expertise you will need to build the logic to determine the optimum next actions.
Getting past one and two is possible, but that comes at a cost, and it is often way beyond the budget.
Sticking with our driving theme, for most businesses, until now this has been pretty much an emergency stop.
To describe what the Enterprise Data Hub is, first, we will tell you what it isn’t.
It’s not a data warehouse, and it’s not a data lake.
Whereas data warehouses and data lakes act as a final destination for data collection, our Hub is a platform for data compilation and onward usage across every business function. The Hub allows operational data to be consolidated and then used to power analytical processes, which in turn provides the logic to determine and execute the next best action.
It’s this powerful perpetual loop of real-time action, analysis and action that sets the Hub apart from the one-way systems of a data lake or a data warehouse. In short, this is the data-driven piece.
With this knowledge on board, let’s return to precisely how the Enterprise Data Hub offers an alternative route through the roadblocks.
Silos no longer
The Hub comes fully ready for integration via API with any other business systems – EPOS, PIM, XERO, AS400, spreadsheets– literally any system. There is no limit to the types of data you can use, nor how you can apply data science to drive your business, with one, real-time source of truth.
Skills rolled in
We could see that it was not enough to offer a platform; businesses need the data expertise and services to drive value from the technology. Living, breathing, highly skilled humans are key differentiators in our model.
Finally, the big one. Via a unique-to-market subscription model, there is now the option to be data-driven at a fraction of the cost of maintaining your own data platform and team. Data storage, security (ISO 27001 accredited), and the data science expertise to put your business information into practice are included in the subscription charge. What’s more, the Clekt cost model is based on the value you receive.
It’s time to accelerate
This is no time for businesses to be standing still. Those organisations that are investing now in becoming data-driven will be the ones that not only survive but thrive. Efficiency, scalability, and profitability are the key outcomes our clients are looking for when they come to Clekt. The great news is that you already have all the data you need to power digital transformation; now there is a solution to unlock the value in this information.
We just fixed business data.
So, back to my original question, if data isn’t driving your business, then why not?
Get in touch with the Clekt team today and let’s begin a conversation about the future of your business.