What is data as a strategic asset?
In simple terms, an asset is one of several holdings that appreciate and generate a return. When viewed as a strategic asset, data can fuel business growth, accelerate innovation, improve profitability and create an enterprise culture.
Why is data important in strategy?
A mind shift is underway within organisations. There’s a growing realisation that data of all types has become the lifeblood of successful businesses. Data has become a significant strategic asset to be protected, valued and exploited.
Good data should be at the heart of all business decision-making. In many ways it is not possible to execute an effective business strategy without first ensuring a robust data strategy. Data supports every function, every division and every person in a business to make effective decisions.
A strong data strategy defines objectives, identifies data owners and ensures there is a formal strategy in place for managing, governing and creating value from data.
Why should businesses view data as a strategic asset?
In the past, data was often viewed in terms of problems or costs – the cost of storage; speed of access; issues of compliance; creation of silos of data owned by specific departments. Now holistic, accurate, timely data can provide the confidence to make crucial business decisions ranging from strategic long-term planning and investments, through to the tailored options which drive the modern customer experience in the moment.
The volume of data available to organisations has exploded over the last decade. While this has created many challenges such as consolidation of data, cyber security and democratisation of data, these are heavily outweighed by the significant opportunities offered by these amazing new data assets. The question is how best to utilise and derive maximum benefits from the data now available to the business from all directions.
Data as the ‘new oil’
Business data is a tangible asset that can be mined to unlock huge potential and value within an organisation. Accuracy is critical if it is to provide the insight and confidence to make crucial business decisions to set the strategy and investments across the enterprise. Intelligence held within data provides the clarity to truly understand customers to deliver an excellent, tailored customer experience which can be optimised in the moment, at the point of delivery.
In addition, information from both inside and outside the business can provide insights that help predict what customers are looking to buy next and where an organisation can gain competitive advantage. For all of this, data provides the smart knowledge to direct product and service innovations.
Routes to data maturity
- A phased approach – It is possible to create value from data gradually or concurrently as different functions or divisions across a business reach new levels of data maturity at different times. Gradually the rising tide of data value will bring in new insights that uplift data from a compliance cost to a value creating asset for the business.
- Building a consensus for change – Empowered individuals gain buy-in and embed the data strategy, identifying the best processes and technologies to deliver good quality, reliable data to everyone in the business, evidenced through early ROI.
- Productisation – This involves moving away from packaging data for known use cases to empowering everyone in the business to slice and dice data through the democratisation of business data. Data increases in value the more it is accessible and the more it is utilised.
- Data monitisation – Data is considered an equity when the cost of storing and governing it is outweighed by the value realised through its application.
Examples of data being used as a strategic asset
More personalised marketing campaigns that uncover new business opportunities, value chain management that is proactively supported with real-time data, sales data informing new forms of innovation and new revenue in the marketplace are all examples of data being leveraged as a strategic asset.
The key to a successful digital transformation
All digital transformation projects rely on data as a strategic asset as their backbone, and optimising that data is vital to deliver business agility and resilience, by understanding the risks and opportunities facing the organisation. This approach helps maximise business opportunities, while ensuring that risks are mitigated in line with the corporate risk appetite. Reliable, centrally managed information provides the holistic picture which supports fast and dynamic decision making based on fact.
At Xpedition we believe data is your greatest asset, and one which continues to accumulate and rapidly increase in value. In short, data can help maximise revenues and profit.
What’s holding businesses back from using data as a strategic asset?
Most organisations have built up a complex IT environment over the years. This has led to multiple solutions and technologies being grafted together with the result that data is often locked away deep in different systems. This provides a significant challenge to realising the full potential of the organisation’s data assets.
In research by Deloitte that asked about the Insight Driven Organisation (IDO) Maturity Scale, an industry-level benchmark of how well companies are adopting an analytics mindset, it stated that:
- Fewer than 4 in 10 executives believe their companies are in the Top 2 categories of the IDO Maturity Scale
- 25% believe this is due to a lack of predictive insights
- 39% of leaders find connecting data from disparate systems a challenge
- 61% of executives are aware of analytics but lack technology and infrastructure or are still working in silos
Now is the time to move your data to the Cloud
In most organisations the push to derive greater returns from data assets is coinciding with a drive to move more business functions to the cloud. Bringing the two trends together can address many issues simultaneously. Indeed, the FSTech research found that of the 37% of companies with the highest level of data maturity, nearly half (48%) significantly exceeded business goals across a 12-month period.
Migrating systems and data to the cloud or implementing new functions directly in the cloud will help remove data silos and increase agility for the business. The cloud enables organisations to build up and manage vast volumes of data at low cost.
Structured and unstructured data can be brought together making it possible to rapidly interrogate and mine data with a new generation of sophisticated analytic tools to spot new connections, trends, compliance issues and opportunities.
As siloes are removed a holistic view of the customer can be seen with deep benefits for improved customer experiences, personalised marketing, up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, and product and service enhancements.
Xpedition’s Metis suite of services have been designed to help businesses transform their raw data into a strategic asset and unlock the value trapped within. Underpinned by the power of Microsoft Azure and proven digital transformation methodologies, Metis will empower your business to thrive.