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Four Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Data

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By Taye Johnson

Senior Data Analyst

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As our reliance on technology grows, more businesses are producing, transmitting and storing large amounts of data. The total amount of global data is projected to jump from 79 zettabytes in 2021 to 97 zettabytes in 2022. To compare, that’s as much data as every grain of sand on the world’s beaches 97 times over (yeah, it blows our minds, too). 

And by 2025, the amount of data is expected to nearly double to 181 zettabytes. 

While having the computing power to store data is one thing, having the ability to process and harness value from your data is even more important. Otherwise, it’s seemingly irrelevant numbers and information clouding your way to seeing patterns, trends, opportunities, and potentially critical errors. 

OK. But what can data do for me today?

Use Case #1:

To better understand your customers.

Many organizations use customer demographic and psychographic information to develop user personas based on consumer insights and industry trends. Those inclusions are essential and shouldn’t be omitted, but are you also considering real-time behavior from your actual customers in addition to marketing insights? 

Modernized digital products use the Cloud and other new technologies to quickly process and make sense of vast amounts of data down to the user by aggregating usage patterns and social media posts. Utilizing these right kinds of data can optimize the features on your website, remove friction points for your users, allow for real-time pricing adjustments, and give you the inside-scoop into brand sentiment.

And with a clearer picture comes a greater ability to personalize touchpoints, make product or price adjustments, and ultimately, improve customer retention.

To ensure your data is accurate, your digital products should be agile and properly synced. Customer data changes quickly, and your technology needs to be adaptable to make quick decisions. In practice, your data should be easy to export with minimal manual manipulation. When organizations have multiple, incompatible reporting tools that are not “speaking” to each other and a lot of legacy data, that’s a difficult task. Too much irrelevant and duplicative data can make it nearly impossible to get an accurate picture of your customers.

4 ways to get the most out of your data.

Use Case #2:

If the constant supply chain or pandemic-influenced challenges have told us anything, it’s that gauging future shifts is mission-critical. However, many organizations are not digitally mature and may be unable to forecast using their existing digital products. 

Modernized digital products help organizations connect the dots between customer service, business, and product strategies with Big Data. “State-of-the-art artificial intelligence engines can analyze publicly available information spanning billions of web pages, patent filings, news sources, clinical-trials reports, earnings call transcripts, and more,” said McKinsey on ways data can identify early-stage trends. “By finding patterns in these disparate data sources, they can help executives identify emerging trends by, for example, measuring the change in the frequency of a term appearing in the data.”

In Nerdery’s partnership with SageGlass–an architectural glass manufacturer–we helped them create more actionable data to use for their predictive planning forecasts. In two months, our teams made a machine-learning solution that incorporated a fully-featured, custom-built prediction engine to reduce waste scrap and improve planning processes.

The outcome resulted in an 85% yield increase and better profitability.

Use Case #3:

To reduce inefficiencies and delays within your operations.

If you feel pressure from labor costs, increased capital requirements, and diminished visibility into shop operations, creating more robust data capabilities could be the answer. Often, work teams are separated by disconnected data silos or missing proper training on data collection tools. Or perhaps your digital systems are not equipped to handle new predictive data analytics software or only capture one piece of data.

Implementing data-focused digital products can help you reduce costs, maximize resources, pinpoint delays, and improve product quality. Put into practice, a leading manufacturing company partnered up with Nerdery to add sensors to their machines and developed state-of-the-art applications. This technology gathered real-time data that improved their visibility and productivity in their operations and helped them leapfrog competitors.

Use Case #4:

To perform faster and more accurate reporting.

It’s a given that finance and operations reports need to deliver as much value as possible and as quickly as possible一which is sometimes easier said than done when you’re manually organizing data in spreadsheets. 

Luckily stronger digital capabilities and innovative data governance plans exist to help teams better manage, analyze and utilize an overwhelming amount of information. Depending on your unique situation, several solutions may fit your needs:

  1. Improve savings. Auditing for opportunities to improve efficiency and lower labor costs means hunting for data silos or bogged-down tasks that have room for new technology or processes.
  2. Capture fresh data. Real-time, automated analytics and cloud-based solutions can quickly and securely harness data.
  3. Visualize dynamic insights. Data visualization technologies provide business leaders with new ways of looking at performance and financial directions.

The big takeaway? Data helps you make informed business decisions.

Data makes up the foundation of strategic decision-making. No matter your role or seniority, embrace a culture of data experimentation and innovation. Implementing new systems, features, or processes to your data collection efforts can help you feel less sluggish and more prepared to take on strategic forecasting and manage risk. 

Data allows companies large and small to reenvision and more effectively understand their business and marketing operations–but ONLY if:

  1. There is buy-in and alignment on organizational goals across the entire enterprise.
  2. Modernized infrastructure is in place to give you the correct and complete data picture.

Get insight into the maturity of your digital product portfolio.