Everyone has heard of famous parable of the three blind men story. It’s about how three blind men try to explain an elephant to each other. One describes it long and slender, as he touches the proboscis. One describes it as large and wide, as he stretches his arms over the elephant’s body. The last one describes it as big and round, as he hugs the foot of the beast.
However, what these three men needed was not sight, but joined-up thinking. If they shared their data together and assessed it intelligently, quite quickly they’ll conclude on what this magnificent beast is about. They needed to be data-savvy.
Just like these three blind men, any organisation in the world today is at risk of being blind without understanding the elephant in the room. The good news is, it doesn’t take a genius to be data-savvy.
HOW TO BE DATA SAVVY
The first step is to understand the data available to you – there is a suite of tools available for this. One should look at both the data generated internally (Google Analytics, Salesforce, Site conversions, stored customer data) and data collected from external sources (social media, competitor data, market data, etc).
That which can be measured, can be managed, said the guru of management, Peter Drucker. Similarly, SMART goals are useful to understand the data collected. SMART, short for Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-Bound, is an age-old acronym for goal setting. By having SMART goals, a person or company can navigate its journey. Data is an essential element to provide real-time understanding on how one is progressing.
SHARING IS CARING?
Thinking back about the three blind men, their first problem is data-sharing. By keeping the facts of the elephant to themselves, they could not determine what an elephant was. Similarly, sharing data with anyone in the organisation drives better understanding across the board. A powerful data strategy will empower each person about the data the collect and share as well as improve the knowledge within the organisation collectively.
ENGAGE THE SPECIALISTS
Once the team within the organization becomes data literate, it will have the capability to achieve amazing things. However, to give the team an extra boost, organizations should always invest in engaging with data scientists. These specialists come with the experience and expertise to make data more meaningful to the organization. Data scientists are people who can blend an in-depth knowledge of the business with data science, insight, marketing and strategy.
These gurus of data can not only convert unstructured data to structured data and perform quantitative analysis on it, but also help an organisation think about what data sources to investigate, what customers really need in data and analysis requirements, and how best to incorporate big data-based products and services into an effective business model.
At Drivatic, our passion is to help organisations through their digital transformation. We have seen customers grow from strength-to-strength when they embark on this journey. We have also witnessed the “should’ve, could’ve” companies that lose out due to poor data awareness. It is a journey that doesn’t happen with a flick of a switch but arrives when the penny drops.