Why It’s Time To Rethink The Value Of Your Data

Paul Dearlove

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that data is the currency of modern business. But are you taking seriously the opportunity that your business’s data?

A report from the Melbourne Business School says Australians are lagging compared to the rest of the world when it comes to extracting value from their data. While there’s plenty of investment in technology, most companies don’t leverage it to find the right insights to drive their businesses toward becoming an intelligent enterprise. They’re too risk-averse and reluctant to experiment.

Why does this matter? Because data is a precious commodity. But it’s completely worthless unless you know what to do with it. Right now, that’s the predicament for too many Australian businesses. They’re hoarding data – and leaving it to sit in silos, with no idea how to best put it to work. It’s no longer enough to simply collect this information. Its true potential lies in delivering valuable insights that go the extra mile.

The sheer volume of data is a key business challenge: 90% of the world’s data was created during the past two years. And the scale of this problem is increasing exponentially as technology becomes more sophisticated. New, intelligent technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and blockchain are reshaping business processes and redrawing the lines of competition.

The businesses that will dominate the future are those keeping in step with the technology evolution, using it to put intelligence at the center of their business. They’re using it to build new capabilities and evolving their workplace culture to achieve better outcomes. All of this is fueled by data.

Accelerating business transformation

Data is already having a huge impact on business, and this will continue to accelerate as it powers these new technologies. The businesses of tomorrow will look different as data creates new revenue streams and business models.

Data will fuel automation, freeing up talent to focus on more meaningful tasks while machines handle more repetitive actions at a faster rate. Even better, analytics will mean people have access to meaningful insights that drive better business decisions.

Data will also improve the way businesses connect with increasingly demanding customers who expect service providers to recall their preferences, anticipate needs, and personalize experiences. Data will enable businesses to be more proactive in meeting those lofty expectations.

Data at work

To make the most of this data, businesses need to better manage it and ensure that it’s used to empower staff and improve processes. Geographe Enterprises, a Perth-based designer of aftermarket parts for some of the world’s largest mining and resources companies, is a great example. As part of an industry undergoing huge change, Geographe is staying on the cusp of technology with a large digital transformation project.

As a result of its digital transformation, Geographe is able to hand back important modeling and calculations to the system, allowing for greater levels of automation and hands-off processing. It’s also able to predict customer demand and better manage production, inventory, and supply chain according to these models.

Most importantly, however, Geographe’s use of data is providing a platform for future-proofing, enabling it to look at disruptive technologies used in the manufacturing sector including sensor-based processes and additive manufacturing.

Fueling the next revolution

Data is hugely important to businesses today – and will only be more important in the future. If new technologies are driving the next industrial revolution, then data is the fuel that powers it.

But being prepared for this future means getting your data organized today. It’s no longer enough to collect it. It must be used to draw insights, empower employees, and find the insights that matter. And this means rethinking the value of data in your business.

For more on this topic, see “Using Data Creatively To Drive The Intelligent Enterprise.”

Paul Dearlove

About Paul Dearlove

Paul Dearlove is head of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Australia and New Zealand, based in Sydney. As a former professional athlete, Paul has a keen focus on high performance and believes there are many skills that can be transferred to the corporate environment.