The best performing companies in the world today are not the ones with the greatest physical assets, but those that make the best use of their data. By successfully predicting and fulfilling people’s expectations and desires, organisations such as Amazon and Netflix have come to dominate the B2C landscape. This is primarily due to the way they utilise data, not the physical assets they own.
Discover the value of data
There are many different ways that data can help add value to a business. In the case of Amazon and Netflix, it lies in their ability to predict consumer behaviour. For a retailer, data can have real monetary value, as information from the point of sale is of use to other companies in the supply chain. But for most companies, data is a tool to help leverage its other resources – for instance, to get operations to run better and provide more value over time; or to get different parts of an organisation to work together more efficiently.
This is where the challenge lies today. Ten years ago, computing capacity was the bottleneck. This is not the case anymore. Now, we have all the computing power that is required to provide us with the tools we need. The challenge is to use those tools in an effective way. That change is cultural as much as it is technological.
Today, valuable information is often stuck in silos with little central control. Data management is piecemeal and most companies come nowhere near realising the full potential of their available data and intelligence.
Leading the change wave
Changing the mind-set to focus the company around the management of data is challenging. Internal barriers need to be broken down and staff must overcome the perception that data is purely an IT issue. Organisations need to understand their own data and start treating it and using it as a critical asset.
One organisation that has done just that is the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The Bar Council, New technologies in the legal process, resulting in increased complexity and complication, led to calls for reform and change to the payment scheme for Barristers.
This complexity has a direct impact on the workload of self-employed Barristers. The earlier payment scheme relied on simple metrics such as assessing the number of pages in a case file, or the number of defendants when determining whether self-employed Barristers where due additional disbursements.
NTT DATA, working in collaboration with the CPS, were able to map the trends and generate insights into the volume and complexity of modern-day caseloads to help revamp the payment scheme.
Presented with clear evidence delivered by NTT DATA, the CPS and the Bar’s representative bodies, successfully reached an agreement to remodel the payment scheme with a new multi-million-pound deal that was both fair and affordable. The CPS secured value for money for the taxpayer, whilst the Bar Council and Criminal Bar Association achieved significant investment to reflect the hard work of its members. Access the full case study here.
Another example of how data can be used to gain greater insights is provided by a large UK telecoms company. The marketing team was unsure about the impact of its campaigns, which were using a combination of email, SMS, MMS and traditional mail. The campaign reports only presented limited data, often using conflicting data sources.
NTT DATA created a suite of dashboards that presented all the data the team wanted to see from its campaigns, including response rates, conversion rates, revenue increase compared to the control group and a host of other key performance indicators.
Following the introduction of the dashboards, manual reporting was reduced by 80%. New insights were gained through indicators that had previously not been visible. Data literacy improved across the department, enabling the team to make decisions about campaigns informed by facts rather than anecdotal experience.
With the intelligent use of data, an organisation can improve its performance, enhance its value proposition to customers and achieve success over its competitors.
But this requires a change of culture that enables IT and business functions to work together. Organisations with staff that are trained and motivated to work with data will be tomorrow’s best performing companies.