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Data, data everywhere… data empowerment or data overload?

Oaklin’s Alex Walsh sheds light on how mastering data and using it as a fundamental driver in business decision-making can deliver step changes in customer satisfaction, return on investment and growth.

Data is generated everywhere. Every purchase; every mouse click; every ‘like’; every product movement. Information can be collected and analysed at almost every point in the customer lifecycle and subsequently actioned to improve both customer and employee engagement.

Traditionally, business leaders have been (and still are) primarily concerned about technical aspects of data collection. This is understandable given the complexity of data silos and legacy systems. However, although this is an important and consequential task, it should no longer take centre stage.

Rather, at Oaklin, we believe that C-suite executives should focus greater attention on the effective management and utilisation of existing datasets; and on positioning data as the driving force behind intelligent decision-making. Building a sophisticated data analytics capability is undoubtedly a key step on this journey; but this can only be done effectively with a clear, cross-functional understanding of how data contributes (or should contribute) to the wider business strategy. This requires a significant cultural shift for many organisations.

In this Insight, we explain how to build a culture of data-based decision-making across your entire organisation. In our opinion, data analytics should permeate almost every business function, from customer experience and sales to supply chain, marketing and operations. Once it does, you will be able to make better-informed decisions; accelerate change; and place efficiency, innovation and growth at the heart of your organisation’s agenda – which is essential to outperform rivals in highly-competitive marketplaces.

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There is a common perception that data analytics is run by a standalone team of boffins sitting on a separate floor in front of screens of data. This perception is damaging and invariably discourages wider business engagement with data analytics. 

Author: Alex Walsh, Consultant