6 Benefits Of Being A Data-Driven Business
Being a data-driven business today isn’t optional; it’s required. For most businesses, that’s not news. Data has become critical to business success, and many companies have learned how to use it, at least to some degree, in their planning and operations. The only choice left now is how committed a business is to putting data in the driver’s seat. For businesses that fully commit to being data-driven, this choice offers significant payoffs that can make the difference between surviving and thriving.
Let’s explore a few of the ways being a data-driven business pays off.
Increased Strategic Agility. Businesses have always relied on data—sales figures, material costs, market projections—to formulate business strategies. The difference for the modern business is the variety, velocity, and volume of the data available to inform those strategies. The increased adoption of emerging tech and applications that require low-latency access to high-volume data means the data-driven business must acquire, analyze, and act on new data quickly. Businesses require agile application platforms and adaptive networks that can seamlessly scale to meet evolving strategies based on ever-changing needs and demands.
Better Customer Visibility. The smart use of data lets an enterprise know its customers better than ever. You can know who your customers are, where they come from, the needs they have, what they want to buy, how they want to buy it, and how they want to engage with your company. The trick to knowing your customers isn’t the collection of the data itself. The key is in analysis: being able to unify data from all available sources, and then making it accessible and actionable to the people within your organization who need it most. That ability requires next-generation network infrastructure that supports the sophistication and complexity of this analysis.
Insight-Driven Innovation. With a complete picture of their customers, the mature data-driven business can use those insights to drive innovation and refine customer applications, offers, and experiences. In retail, for example, customer data has helped the sector envision what customers want from the in-store experience. With hyper-personalized offers, dynamic application engagement, cashierless checkout, and a seamless flow between the online and in-store experiences, retailers turn casual shoppers into loyal, long-term customers. Through ongoing innovation, retailers are creating the store of the future, offering lessons for how other business sectors can do the same.
Streamlined Operations. Happy customers are the foundation of any successful business. However, many businesses overlook the fact that behind-the-scenes improvements may be the faster path to better customer experiences. With intelligent data monitoring, businesses learn how to adjust and optimize their operations in real time. Equipment conditions, shipping routes, weather patterns, supply chain health, inventory—by collecting this data, businesses can track and automatically adjust processes and operations to respond to disruptions and demands. This leaves customers happier as they receive the products, service, and operational excellence they expect without delays or hassles.
Real-Time Capital Insights. For too many businesses, maintenance and capital expenditures are based on guesswork, not data. Those guesses derive from estimates of when a machine needs service or replacement. Even less ideal is when maintenance and purchases are driven by equipment failure, which leads to lost productivity and unexpected expenses. One of the most promising use cases for IoT devices and sensors has been predictive maintenance. These devices transmit data that allows service decisions to be made based on real-time information from your own equipment. As a result, your business can service equipment only when needed, receive notifications before failure so that maintenance can prevent production slow-downs, and replace machines when data indicates end of useful life.
A Competitive Edge. Like most businesses, you’ve likely dipped your toe into digital transformation through big-data exploration and hybrid and multi-cloud platforms. The next step is expanding on that success to give your business a competitive edge. This may be the year to explore the necessary data infrastructure to leverage emerging technologies, such as IoT, AI, and software-defined networking (SDN). We discussed above some of the capex and maintenance improvements derived from IoT. AI and machine learning are being used to capture more granular customer data and apply what is learned to refine offers. For example, AI is being used by the insurance industry to better track fraud and by retailers to refine inventory and target customer promotions. SDN is helping businesses create more flexible and nimble networks that can fluidly respond to customer demands and market trends. These changes aren’t necessarily disruptive, but they create the competitive margins that let one business succeed while competitors fall behind.
How committed is your enterprise to becoming data-driven? Learn how CenturyLink can help you take the next step.
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