Data is the new oil! This message rhymes well in any intelligent conversation among the business leaders. Executives are always excited about the prospect of using AI/ML and other new technologies. There is often a significant budget allocated for Big Data projects. Yet, when it comes down to planning and execution around data-driven culture, many of them hesitate to take action. This hesitation can put them on the backfoot, preventing them from taking steps towards building an efficient data-driven business.
People who own an oil or gas company have found that the industry, in itself, brings value to the owner, primarily because these industries are high-valued assets. With technology, data is that golden egg or that high-valued asset. Businesses have already started accumulating data in bunches. True, they may not have clarity on how to monetize this data, but they are aware that at some point, this is a possibility.
Over time, businesses can build and sell products by engaging business leaders and data scientists to put a refinery on the data. However, the conscious thought of looking for opportunities to educate people to use data and make data-driven intelligent decisions is still lacking. Even now, rather than enable business users to pull data insights based on their desire, analytic solutions are being pushed on them. Instead, users should derive intelligent insights by embedding data in different ways in a given context.
A Culture Shift Worth Considering
One of the biggest challenges I foresee is the complexity of making data useful, specifically in the local context, by combining the related data.
The moment you start thinking about deriving insights, you start thinking about the following questions
- What attributes do I need to consider?
- From where will I get these data attributes?
- How do I get them?
- What if the data is not consistent?
- How do I relate them with the existing data and the current context?
- What algorithms will be useful?
- Which one will give the best outcome?
- How to train them?
- How to deploy them?
- How to use them to build experiences?
Naturally, these questions start to look overwhelming to the business leaders. Thus, technologies start looking like the most significant aspect of building a data-driven culture.
People, Process, and Culture take a back seat, and business leaders get overwhelmed with the constant dose of technologies. Even if this approach leads to success, the organization as a whole would suffer. Business leaders will have built an organization where a handful of employees understand what they are doing; while the remaining follow commands.
The fact is that unless we democratize data and give the power back in the hand of the user, we cannot build a truly data-driven culture. The need is to make technology seamless and so easy that it becomes effective and takes the backseat. Bring the People, Process, and Culture at the forefront.
What needs to be done?
By creating an ecosystem that enables its users to pull technology to meet their desired need, as opposed to pushing the technology to realize the ROI on them, amazing things happen.
Creating this ecosystem will require the following.
- Reskill business users and leaders to learn about Data, Big Data, and AI. It is never too late to start good things, and no age is too old to learn AI.
- Reduce complexity around technology and make it less overwhelming. Right now, learning data skills is challenging for many business users. We need to create that onion layer, where there could be multiple levels, and each one will be exciting and useful in itself.
- Enable business users to visualize how the data flows from their real-time operational systems into their analytics engine. Further help them see how they can give feedback into these systems.
- Teach them the value of continuous improvement and continuous learning.
- Provide them a platform to explore, develop, and test. And most importantly, be consistent and complement each other in a given business environment.
WalkingTree & Digital Transformation
Rapid Application Development is a fundamental aspect that we at WalkingTree have focused on for several years. We have a strong focus on bringing in data-driven digital transformation in the enterprise. Due to this, we hold ourselves responsible for living up to our mantra – shielding customers from the heat caused by the non-core but very critical functionalities. WalkingTree is excited to walk with the customer on this journey of a data-driven culture. Let’s connect and ask me how!