Data is your Digital Business DNA

Digital transformation is about data.

Building great experiences for customers. Implementing helpful applications for operational staff. Running corporate services that empower employees to achieve more from their working day. Staging reports for decision makers to delve into bigger issues and opportunities. These need access to accurate, current, and relevant data.

Access to data presents opportunity. Owning it means possibility. Orchestrating it translates to outcomes. Makers and creators can shape, curate, mix, and adapt data. It is the lifeblood to solving problems and building products for the digital era. It is the DNA on which a business evolves to be faster and better. The more it evolves. The more it blends with other sources, the smarter the entity becomes. More questions are asked and confidence to respond to them increases.

Like DNA which contains the instructions needed for an organism to develop, survive and reproduce. Smarter combinations and nuances to address opportunities arise through the application of data. Teams invent new ways to perfect their products and services. They become more capable, cunning, resilient, pro-active. Data becomes a weapon to differentiate offerings. Processes become simpler, more helpful, easier to consume. The corporate body of data, assets, systems, and channels coalesce. They create a more united form. One that is smarter, more agile and connected – driven by the desire for more insight.

87% percent of C-Suite respondents to The CEO Imperative, an EY study – said that the most competitive companies in the next five years will be defined by delivering data-driven experiences.

The compounding effect of data to personalise experiences for consumers. To help workers find solutions quicker. Helping executives to shed light on non-intuitive market patterns. Creating new ways for people to engage with technology, are all part of running a modern business. Data is therefore the DNA as it enables differentiation. It is the lifeblood of transformation.

The Art and Science of Data go hand in hand

Managing data is not exciting. Extracting, transforming, and loading it is a gritty thing to do. The world of instant gratification, ‘killer apps’ and connected lifestyles creates a demand for speed. Managing data lakes, swamps and clouds is not glamorous. It is difficult. The multitudes of data to manage, categorise and clean requires dedicated people who understand the technicalities associated to systems of record. The complexity of problems to solve. The need for ingenuity, for elegant design, for impact. It is not getting easier for people pushing the digital agenda. This problem persists despite greater access to smarter tools and systems.

Enterprise legacy systems and architectures do not cater for seamless, large-scale transformations. They are tightly integrated and coupled architectures. This means work needs to be undertaken to ‘untrap’ data and stage it for consumption. It requires well-defined plans and execution strategies to decouple systems, connect new sources of data and deliver new insights. All while keeping the water and lights of the business on.

Cheaper storage alternatives, faster time to market for digital natives, coupled with the astronomical rise of user feedback loops in commercialised channels has expedited the need to respond to changing customer demands. This mean time to respond serves as the median pace at which businesses need to evolve. The same demands require smarter ways of running a business in the 21st century.

Data’s Value is in its Versatility

Harnessing quantitative and qualitative data must be seen to be as important as the upkeep of any other capital or operational asset. In this digital world, it is arguably the most important asset. Its endearing ability to differentiate a business. The ability to new ways to serve. To spur innovation. To take-on learnings and feedback. This is how the concept of “digital” progresses. Data must serve to make peoples’ lives simpler, easier, better. Data is a capital asset, as it can generate value over time. It is also an operational asset, as it can be deployed to enrich existing solutions, and solve problems.

Executives understand this more than ever. The rate of disruption and displacement is the enduring theme of the 4th Industrial Revolution. It is important that corporates assign value to their data. See it as a critical asset for survival – be it through more competitive offerings, new products and services or better ways of doing business. The pioneers of this era will be those who use data to do more. Learn more. Respond quickest.

The impact of data is made available through engagement channels. None of which is possible without the curation, and enablement of a data-driven business. This means creating processes to support the inclusion of data-driven decision making and actions. In addition to the provision of technology to ensure data moves quickly and easily, in the right form – to all consumers. Traditional financial models cannot categorize the worth of data, yet in this modern era, the idea of returns on assets and investments for data and data-driven solutions is unquestionable.

Get your Data right. There is no other way.

Accumulating data and organising it so that it is accessible for teams. Empowering people solving problems. Enabling those innovating to address opportunity. This is the basis for digital transformation, evolution, and renewal.

Building pretty sites. Buying expensive software, mobilising a workforce, is meaningless without usable data. The rate of transformation is proportional to the availability of data. Referred to as Data Velocity. If this is not on par with the rate of acceleration, progress stalls, and projects dwindle.

The imperative to get data right has never changed. From the days of flat-files, relational databases, and SQL. To NoSQL, and streaming data at the edge. The Four Vs of data must drive a business forward. The principles of Volume, Velocity, Variety, Veracity have never been more critical

The ability to personalise experiences. Enrich operational efficiency and empower customers, and staff. To build reports that tell what happened. That tell a story. To shine a light on events for decision makers to dig deeper and understand why. These set the tone for market differentiation.

There is never a better time than the present to get your data right to propel your business. This means finding, revaluating, and modernising your data sources. Creating accessible and efficient data storage options. Furthering integration between systems. Moving the needle on modernising procedures. Fuelling richer, more engaging channel experiences. Empowering data analysts to dig deeper and ask bigger questions, and having product teams utilise data to streamline customer or user experiences.

Connected Things and Data – Two Key Accelerants of Digital Transformation

IoT Analytics predicts the current number of connected devices will double by 2025. This means the world we live in will talk to us in a language of data. There are various protocols and data standards to adhere to. Winning will be in the ability to interpret and respond at scale.

According to CIO.com, two-thirds of IoT (Internet of Things) use cases are in the industrial (B2B or B2B2C) space. The ability to garner new insights from unaddressed or under-addressed areas. To get your business to ‘talk’ to you. To make sense of patterns and signals. To being more pro-active and deliberate on using data all makes for a more pioneering way of work.

The world of IoT makes digital transformation possible through the provision of data. It allows for more business opportunities. The discussion shifts from a focus on a specific business asset unit, or process. More empowered teams can look at how a business unit is performing. Understanding what the health and ability of an operational area is. This creates a formidable cultural shift that expands on each iteration. As businesses mature, operational areas draw closer. This creates a stronger transformation capability made possible by enabling a culture and environment centred around data.

By being agnostic to technology. By driving a corporate hunger to take on more insights and drive new actions from legacy and modern assets. IoT moves from being a theme, to becoming a way of work. It involves the act of assembling input from devices, machines, actors, and assets. It is the ability to make sense of them, regardless of their age, make or capability. It is a never-ending endeavour. One that enables a capable, data-rich, future-fit, and capable enterprise. One that seeks to connect assets in the field to people, to run smarter, more insightful and pro-active business processes. Location matters less, given that data is used to do the hard work of making complex decisions, and directing more precise activities.

IoT.nxt Drives Digital Transformation – starting with data

At IoT.nxt, we offer the end-to-end suite to address the challenge of harvesting data from any device, machine, or asset. Our Raptor suite of technologies extracts data from legacy and modern technology or protocol. This includes virtual and physical integration points.

Our Commander platform layer normalises data. It specialises on structuring data to make it easy to work with, and economical to manage. Our Machine Learning product – Navigator – uses this data to supply new insights. This, powered by machine learning and edge computing technology to do the hard yards of crunching data and predicting outcomes.

We empower data champions, operational areas owners, IT and Digital leads to utilise the data they can extract from their world to deliver new solutions to existing problems. We then use our platform as a basis to assemble new data constructs and generate new insights that were previously unseeingly possible. Through machine learning, our Navigator product suite enables an ‘always on’ style approach to uncovering new insights, detecting anomalies, and driving actions in a data-driven, systemic fashion.

This means every device or system can be referenced. Data streamed, organised, and stored. Teams get what they need. It means entities in your organisation are more connected and pro-active. The outcome? Lowest time to value for upstream and downstream innovations.

Written by: Lazo Karapanagiotidis

IoT.nxt

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