I came across this fascinating research report – commissioned by salesforce.com and published on forbes.com.
Here are some key themes and takeaways plus my own observations based on personal experience.
Between 2015 and 2020, the number of data sources analyzed will jump 83%
Number of sources actively analyzed by businesses has grown just 20% in last five years but will grow 83% in next five. In my view, this growth in sources is directly proportional to how far ahead a company is on its Digital transformation. For example, a more advanced company will likely track many more customer touch points and aggregate them as part of the customer profile. Each new data source expands possibilities of drawing even more interesting actionable business insights.
Relying on manual processes to get all the data in one place is one of the greatest challenges enterprises face today.
As part of our business analytics transformation strategy at Adobe, we substantially solved this problem.
However, here are some additional considerations:
- Creating single data architecture for the consumption of analytics across the company is a massive problem to solve. It is not a technology problem – it is a people problem. Propensity to own and control databases across the company tends to be huge and detrimental to advancing overall interest of the organization. More data jumps, more the possibilities of something getting lost in translation – not to mention wasteful and latency inducing. This typically leads to metrics produced by multiple groups that do not agree with each other resulting in confusion, waste and slowdown of decision making.
- It does not help to just ingest raw data sources in a single data architecture. Transformation of data to business metrics with standardized definitions is equally critical. If individual business analysts are left to writing queries to build metrics, that creates a recipe for confusion around metrics definitions.
High performing enterprises are 4.6x more likely than under-performers to agree that data is driving their business decisions.
This is really the bottom line. Many companies are either ignorant or in denial about strategic nature of data and business analytics. As they say, acknowledgement of a problem is first step towards addressing it.