Getting data ready for digital transformation

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2022

Proceed team

Digital transformation

Responses to the pandemic have speeded up the adoption of digital technologies by several years, and as a result digital adoption has taken a quantum leap at both the organsiational and industry level. The results of embracing digital transformation speak for themselves – latest research from McKinsey points to data driven organisations being 23 times more likely to attract customers, six times more likely to retain customers and being 19 times more profitable. Data is playing a more critical role than ever.

However, it has long been a habit of many organisations to store large volumes of data through lack of expertise or resource at cleaning and maintaining it – and can be common for businesses to have data lakes in excess of 100TB. Unnecessary data hoarding is creating these huge lakes of data, which in turn is costing organisations excessive amounts to store and retain. Whilst there is a necessity to retain historical data for legal and regulatory compliance, plus of course data for mining and analysing – the cost to store large levels of data can easily escalate – despite migration to the cloud or hybrid cloud environments.

Essentially many businesses lack the skills needed to manage their data environments, and to be successful at digital transformation managing data will be critical to success.

So how should businesses prepare for this data driven approach?

Here are our key steps:

  1. Create a data team. Create an internal team that will take ownership and create a strategy for your data that will allow it to work for you. Build in automated processes with strong AI fundamentals that have solid rules at the outset to ensure the time efficiencies will continue to be maintained across data collection. Essentially govern the archiving process, and ensure whilst remaining compliant you achieve data storage nirvana.
  2. Aggregate the data: the use of several different types of applications mean data exists across various platforms, can be duplicated, and easily fragmented. Gauge what you have and systematically aggregate them.
  3. Process what you’re hoarding. If there’s evidence that value exists in the data keep it, if not, do your due diligence on what remains with legal and regulatory compliance, and if you don’t need to keep it then ditch it.
  4. Clean IT: Inaccurate data can result in errors in the business operations of the organisation.
  5. Be wary of Dark Data. Dark data can appear in structured and unstructured data, it’s rather like an iceberg that we can see the floating top of but have no idea of what’s sitting underneath it, below the surface. This type of data can grow exponentially year on year and continues to be a challenge for the CIO because of the amount of data having to be stored for regulatory purposes. Storing this type of data incurs a lot of expense and sometimes risk, than the value extracted from it. To overcome this, automation and archiving efficiencies at the outset will only allow the data required to be stored.
  6. Analyse the data: in getting to the process of digital transformation, it’s key to not only collect and analyse the data, but maintain it, ensure it is cleaned and stored correctly so that the business can take full advantage of the opportunities of digital transformation.

Data is one of the biggest assets an organisation has, but with so much data being created and stored daily it’s imperative that the data is carefully cleaned and maintained to ensure the true value of digital transformation can be gleaned.

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