I am a firm believer that data is shaping the world around us and so I constantly strive to drive awareness about the value of data and how it can bring great benefits to businesses and people. And, as I explained to Joe DosSantos in the latest episode of Data Brilliant, that means helping people identify the right data career path for them, and helping organizations understand the roles and skills they need within their business to help them succeed.
I talk to business professionals and executives everyday about how they can implement technology into their organizations. When creating business use cases, it’s about building business advocacy. It’s about communicating the value of technology, its impact on organizational outcomes and how technology can be used to solve challenges. Whether it’s discussing the impacts of edge to cloud, navigating siloed data, enabling AI services, or addressing AI ethics and risks, business executives are ready to use technology to help them succeed and competitively differentiate themselves. As I explored with Joe, they just need to learn which specific technologies can help them and how to use it.
What steps can B2B organizations take to become data driven?
There is really no industry left untouched by data analytics. But, becoming data driven and technology focused is a continuous and ongoing process – it cannot be done overnight, nor does the work ever stop. And that’s what everybody within a business needs to understand. So, where to start? As Joe and I discussed, to become data driven you first have to look internally by identifying the type of data that you have in your organization and using it to improve your own business processes. Only then can you start to use this data externally to create new products and services for your customers.
But before any of this can begin, you need to make sure you have clean data which can be viewed within the right context. Bad data is worse than no data and data that is sat in a silo cannot tell you the whole picture. Organizations must understand what data needs they have within their business to both employ people with the right skills but also to look at the career paths within their organization. Because data career paths aren’t linear. Once you have the foundational skills in place, you can really follow any path you want to, whether that be a BI developer, enterprise architect, data engineer or database administrator. But what you can’t forget is the importance of communication. You have to be able to communicate not only to your peers, but also to your management and executives so they understand, not only what your role is, but the value it brings to them, their teams and the wider business.
How Far Along is Your Business Data and AI Journey?
Some industries like finance, retail, or telecoms are a lot farther along in their data and AI journey compared to firms within the automotive or oil and gas sectors, for example. But no matter what industry you’re in, you should always be upskilling and reskilling your organization, deciding what can be automated, and checking for the latest developments so that you can set your business apart from the competition.
Data is not only driving organizations forward, but it is making it possible for us to tackle some of the most urgent issues of our time, including climate change and societal injustice. It’s up to each and every one of us to get to grips with the role it now plays in all of our lives, and help educate and upskill people to create a data driven society.
By Ronald van Loon