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Love Thy Data

August 4, 2023

Data is the new oil” was a statement famously uttered nearly six years ago. When it comes to valuable global resources, there’s no doubt that data holds considerable power for, over, and among us. A mundane example: data insights can now trigger a low-milk alert by your smart fridge, prompting the order and delivery of a fresh gallon before your morning cereal demands it. It’s now table stakes that every 21st century business enterprise figures out how to flex data to meet business goals for revenue, customer acquisition, and retention.

With much data comes much responsibility

 We’re awash in data. Between 2010 and 2020, there was 5,000% growth in its creation and capture. And in 2023, CFOs rank “data and technology” among the top drivers of their agenda. When it is effectively mined, cleaned, housed, governed, analyzed, and harnessed, data can be the basis for powerful digital transformation, including AI features. Still, CFOs suggest that there are roadblocks: sub-par technology, “immature capabilities,” and a lack of tech talent to produce and analyze data for insights (52% reported they weren’t lucky enough to have an in-house Chief Data Officer).

So where to start? Ask what your data needs are and don’t collect data you won’t need; endless terabytes with no use are unwieldy. Explore your end-user requirements, and who needs to have data access across your company. Bring along your executive-level peers not only to what the data possibilities are, but also to an awareness that sustaining it will require a coordinated effort of change management. Map out what technology is needed to meet your needs now and into the future. Then build a path including models, standards, and governance, to get there.

 

“There were 5 exabytes of information created between the dawn of civilization through 2003, but that much information is now created every two days.”
– Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman at Google

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