The need for businesses to move data out of the IT department and into the boardroom is now widely understood and accepted.
The most forward-looking organisations increasingly see the potential of shifting the conversation at director level from historical detail around the latest financial reports and the previous quarter’s performance, to how they can get real-time access to data to drive results they get today and shape the strategy they roll out tomorrow.
Everyone around the boardroom table is excited at the prospect of transforming what was once a hard-to-manage by-product of business operations into a valuable asset to help organisations gain an edge over the competition. In theory, all the directors stand to benefit.
CEOs today are increasingly prioritising data governance, security and sustainability, and they see getting access to real-time information as key to improving their decision-making process around these metrics.
CMOs are eager to use data to hone customer profiles and target prospects more accurately; HR directors are looking forward to getting hold of information on staff retention and talent development; and CFOs are excited about the prospect of using data to detect fraud and credit risks and make more finely-tuned, forward-looking predictions.
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All of this sounds hugely positive and it’s great that the ownership of big data is moving out of IT and into the business lines where they can start getting value from it. It’s important that this continues to happen. But that cannot and should not be the end of the story. In other words, this shift is not enough in itself.
What we are not seeing yet is all this data being converted into something meaningful that front line customer service analysts can use when managing customers.
There is a disconnect and it is a serious concern because if a business is getting valuable insight from its data, then the people who need this insight more than any other group are those that are engaging with customers.
Businesses need to take all of this data and push it out to staff on the very front line to enable them to really drive customer loyalty by improving the quality of the service they are delivering.
This is potentially a big stumbling block for organisations. There are still significant barriers around cultural readiness to navigate this challenge. And there are vital issues to negotiate around data management, data governance and perhaps most importantly of all, trust, before organisations can be successful in taking data from the business lines out onto the frontline.
But if they are to exploit the full potential of big data and use it to drive future profitability and business advantage, they need to ensure they make it happen.
Sourced from Andrew Carr, CEO, Bull UK & Ireland