How your company approaches digital transformation depends on many factors. Each business has its own unique circumstances that will shape their approach, including operational needs, existing processes, industry standards and practices, and the current market state.
Every digital transformation project shares a singular goal: to use technology to better meet industry and customer demands. Yet there’s much more to this process than merely integrating new software and tech projects into your business units.
Though every digital transformation project is unique, they all live and die by one commonality: effective data management.
Today’s volatile and ever-evolving market demands business agility—agility that company leaders can only achieve with the right strategies in place to get the most out of their data.
Leveraging data effectively can revolutionize the way a company does business and give a crucial competitive edge. High-level analytical predictions lead to better decision making, smarter and more streamlined inter-department workflows, and rapid responses to market risks and emerging regulatory demands—all while increasing revenue.
However, most businesses do not have an end-to-end understanding of their data. This includes strategies for storing and accessing data, as well as incorporating data into their work processes and SaaS applications.
If you’re working to gain a better handle on your data, data warehousing can be a foundational piece of your digital transformation strategy.
Data warehousing is exactly what it sounds like: A holistic method of organizing your data in a way that is transparent and accessible. Data warehousing allows various sources of data to flow into one standardized data set.
Almost universally, the insights produced by this unified data set are enough to transform our clients’ businesses.
But what exactly does that look like in practice when you’re scaling your company’s digital integration? What key factors should you focus on when it comes to building successful data management systems? And what role should IT professionals play in your digital strategy moving forward?
Databases and data warehouses are both storage systems for your data, and your business needs both of them.
- Databases are typically used for real-time information of the same type. You may have a database for customer information, another database for inventory information, another for sales information, and so on.
- Because all information in a database is normalized to the same format, you can make universal changes, additions, updates, and simple queries quickly.
- This quickness allows databases to serve customer- and user-facing needs. For example, if a customer buys a product online, that would trigger an immediate update to your sales and inventory databases.
- Data warehouses collect information from all databases. Your data warehouse denormalizes data so that you can draw connections between different database sources.
- Data warehouses help paint a broad picture of your data outside of the real-time demands of the daily business. Data warehouses are much better for tracking data over time, while databases are built to provide a static snapshot of the current data they contain.
In fact, data warehousing uses complex AI-driven systems to tackle the disadvantages of relying solely on databases. For example, on its own a database can’t handle complex queries without a slowdown in transactional processing. This lag can harm a business’s ability to maintain agility and adapt to rapidly evolving demands—inventory being a prime example.
Warehousing your data gives you the unique ability to analyze data from different sources as it evolves over time. This allows you to more accurately track business performance, get deeper insights into data trends and build more effective business strategies, streamline workflows, and securely store and retrieve historical data records.
Once your data is centralized and standardized, business leaders must determine what data is high quality. This comes down to deciding which data sets offer actionable insights that enhance your business intelligence.
Whatever digital transformation definition you’re working with, don’t forget that IT strategy must support business strategy. Digital tools and technology — including data — are not goals unto themselves. They must be used in a way that supports strategic business objectives.
If your business’s strategy and objectives are unclear or half-baked, your digital transformation efforts are doomed.
Most CTOs have a tough time bridging the gap between business strategy and technological tactics. It will require business leaders working in conjunction with your CTO to discern what data is most relevant to business objectives.
Quality data allows businesses to maintain operational efficiency. Whereas poor data management leads to wasted time and lost potential revenue, while losing the ability to predict and respond to risks and opportunities.
You can determine high-quality data by several key factors, including:
- Ability to scale across departments and workflows
- Real-time evolution of data
Once you assess the existing quality of your data, it’s time to build a strategy for improving data quality across all the units in your business. The AI machine learning of your data warehousing can then be used to monitor and enforce consistent high-quality data, such as by cleaning up redundant entries, outdated information, and errors.
This may sound like a major undertaking for any CEO whose skills and resources are already being stretched thin with other business needs. That’s why your IT leaders can play an important role in your business’s digital transformation.
The right IT partner will help you leverage data across all units in your company and provide actionable insights and metrics for success. A team of IT strategists can gather, interpret, and use this data to maximize your business intelligence.
Digital transformation requires your business to rely on continually evolving data sets and the ability to leverage that data across departments and workflows. Many successful businesses have used quality data management practices to enhance their digital transformation strategies.
Take Hasbro for instance, the toy company behind GI Joe, Monopoly, Dungeons & Dragons, Peppa Pig, and other world-wide names. Hasbro began its digital transformation in 2012 when it realized it should be marketing to parents, not to children.
- Hasbro used data to identify and target segments of parents who were most likely to buy their products.
- Hasbro used data to pinpoint moments in the buyer journey where the customer was most likely to buy more. Hasbro then tailored their customer experience to upsell relevant products, also determined by customer data, at the perfect time.
- Internally, Hasbro used data to define three distinct reporting segments — toys, TV and film, and card games like Magic: the Gathering.
Three years into its digital transformation, Hasbro surpassed its long-time competitor, Mattel. Two years later, Hasbro hit double the sales volume of Mattel.
Data, like any other asset, doesn’t help if it isn’t used with strategy and expertise. We’d bet that today, your company can gather as much data as you can imagine — it’s knowing what to make of it that poses the challenge.
At Vudu, our team warrants a seat at the table of your business’s leadership. We have the business acumen, technical expertise, and operational excellence that many IT partners simply lack.
Nobody is better than Vudu at turning data into insights, insights into knowledge, and knowledge into wisdom. When managed correctly, data can allow you to make better decisions exponentially faster, revolutionize your workflow, and drastically lower the price of your work product.
At Vudu, we are technology wizards who want to bring IT magic to your business and achieve supernatural results. Have you been wondering how data can transform your business? Tell us more about your goals.