Technology advancements are making it easier for people to constantly, effortlessly and sometimes unknowingly generate massive amounts of data every second. Lurking in the sprawling data pipelines of global corporations are complex tangles of information that have the potential to become your company’s most profitable resource. The opportunity has never been greater for savvy marketers and data analysts to team up and untangle the “data hairball,” gain insights into behavior, anticipate trends and make their customers’ experiences more relevant and timely. By working together on a more strategic level, they will have the competitive advantage they need to innovate, increase revenue and improve the bottom-line. The approach is called a data-driven strategy, which I outline in my new book.
This five-step roadmap is a summary of a data-driven approach covered in more detail in my book.
1. Get Smart. Get a Strategy. Develop a data-driven approach that will position your entire organization for customer-centric success.
All companies should begin with a vision and strategy. It will require some time investment, but will set you and your team on the right course over the long term.
The insurance and financial services leader Nationwide began feeling the cracks in their decentralized data silos back in 2005. They recognized the limitations of their existing systems and were missing the agility, speed and flexibility needed to succeed in its marketplace. They knew it was time to find a better way so they could deliver an “On Your Side” experience to their customers. With a system that had grown to more than 100 terabytes of user data, about 10 times the size of the entire printed U.S. Library of Congress, Nationwide had the vision to leverage its data as a strategic asset for true enterprise analysis and management. They wanted a data-driven approach so they could make forward-looking strategic and tactical business decisions. The effort began with the creation of a mission statement and formal vision for the project. Nationwide has executed that vision and, in the process, migrated from a product-centric company to a customer-centric company.
2. Tear Down the Silos. Become a highly responsive organization by fostering an environment of collaboration, coordination and connection.