Never before have companies been exposed to such accelerated digital transformation as we have seen in the last year. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced all industries to re-focus their processes, client contact mechanisms and rely on their data when making decisions.
This new reality triggered a monumental leap in the markets. In a matter of months, data management, Business Intelligence (BI), and advanced analytics evolved significantly in a way not previously projected until the end of this decade.
Today, more than ever, data represents one of the most valuable, intangible assets for any organization. Its importance lies in its potential to generate business stability, growth, and economic benefits in the future through informed decision-making. In summary, data has become the key to gaining an advantage over the competition.
Let’s consider, as an example, a supermarket chain that, before the pandemic, used traditional methods to collect data about its clients and their consumer trends. Unexpectedly, lockdowns and social distancing regulations made it necessary to enable digital purchasing channels that could become a much more robust source of income and information if combined with analytic schemes.
Currently, a great variety of information arrives at high velocity through multiple channels: we can measure visits and content consumption on websites, we can develop strategies to appear in the searches of potential clients, and we can even measure audiences on social media to identify how they arrived at our profile, who they are, and how they are reacting to our content.
Faced with this reality, companies that did not have data practices before are starting to invest in data management. While those who had established methods to collect this information have begun to understand that traditional reporting is not enough, they must wager on structured data engineering systems.
How to Make the Most of Your Data
Once organizations manage to establish multiple data sources, they must create mechanisms that will allow them to maximize their potential. Within the vital journey map of evolving towards a true data management and analysis system, the following aspects much be taken into consideration:
- Create an inventory of available data; determine how robust the data is.
- Identify correlations between the available data that allow for extraction, transformation, and unification strategies.
- Establish a single source of truth for the organization’s data analysis. Data Lakes or Data Hubs are currently the most used, and it is no longer necessary to purchase a big server or deal with technical limitations. The cloud has democratized access to resources and tools for advanced analytics in all organizations, providing cost-effective and efficient platform management.
- Cross your data with third-party information and external references. For example, you can use studies or projections from governmental sources available online for certain types of analysis.
- Apply concepts from advanced analytics to measure tendencies. For example, you can focus your marketing efforts on clients with specific characteristics, achieving higher conversion percentages.
- Opt for predictive models to determine the projected impact business decisions may have, applying Big Data or Machine Learning resources.
A New Era
After more than a year since the first case of COVID-19, we now have enough data to understand how markets have behaved throughout the pandemic. This is the perfect moment to apply data engineering and transform the way business is done.
During this time, there has been a significant increase in the demand for data management services. Organizations have begun to understand the potential of drawing on data engineering and data science processes.
More and more decision-makers are becoming interested in this field, pushing their companies to include data management tools and standardized processes to leverage data. Although Business Intelligence was already a trend before the pandemic, the current situation has emphasized the importance of this initiative in a highly competitive environment.
Its relevance is also reflected in universities’ academic programs in computing, statistics, and mathematics. Data engineering has one of the highest growth potentials due to the benefits and the added value it can provide to organizations.
In the next 2 to 3 years, it’s expected data management will become a normalized practice as businesses realize the more informed a company is, the better business decisions it can make.