For a long time now it’s been a dream within enterprises for the business managers to be more aware of customer data. After all, the theory goes, they’re the ones who need the information; they’re the ones who know how it should be managed and they’re the ones who are looking for the end result.
It’s a neat idea but it’s one that’s not really been achievable so far – data and the way it has been collected and managed have been in the domain of the software developers, and while there have been attempts by companies to put more power in the hands of executives there’s been little joy so far – mainly because the attempts to make the software less complex haven’t really worked: they’re still far too close to programming and the business leaders haven’t had the requisite skill-set.
For the last few years, however, companies have become more attuned to the idea that they have a wealth of customer data at their fingertips and they should be making better use of it. There’s been a realisation that to improve company performance and to understand customers better then it’s essential to analyse data better. And who better to analyse data than the people who are using it?
The key phrase is democratisation of data – the act of putting information in the hands of business managers. It’s been the key driver for many companies over the past few years. Currently, much of the interpretation has to be done by data scientists – the so-called sexiest job of the 21st century – and these wizards of manipulation do not come cheap. And so, the impetus is to cut out this part of the process and let executives make use of the data.
But like so many advances, the reality has not reflected the reality. According to a New Vantage Partners survey of US companies, there’s been plenty of investment in AI and data analytics but this has not been reflected in any significant gains. The research suggests that fewer than half say they are competing on data and analytics, while only about a quarter claim to have created a data-driven culture.
It’s clear then that heavy investment in data analytics is not always producing results. The New Vantage Partners’ survey reveals this: seventy seven percent of respondents said that business adoption was a major problem. And it is business that’s the problem – only 5 percent of the respondents think the issues are technological.
There’s definitely a gap here: businesses need access to the relevant data and companies are producing that data but it’s not being used in the right way. For democratisation of data to become more than a glib buzz phrase, there’s a need to address that gap.
Fortunately, there are such tools are available. Microsoft has gathered together a variety of products which, combined, can give business managers all the detailed information that they need.
Microsoft’s Customer Insights offers executives access to all the information they could possibly want. Used in conjunction with Microsoft’s Power BI, which links to a variety of data sources, executives can build their own presentations in a way that suits them.
The software is, as its name implies, a way to pull together data to provide accurate real-time information on customer actions to give genuine insights. One of the stumbling blocks that have hindered executive attempts to do this in the past has been that so much of the information has been siloed and hard to access. And if it were accessible, there would have been a time lag in producing the relevant information – businesses need up-to-date reports - relying on IT departments to pull the data together in time was always a risk. And that’s before the cost of bringing in data scientists to interpret it.
And that’s before you consider the jumble of information sources: structured and unstructured data (such as mobile texts and video feeds), financial reports, CRM information and anything else that a company could want to consider. It’s never easy trying to pull together disparate information sources but Microsoft does make the task easier.
And QUANTIQ can be a partner in this. We can provide workshops that enable executives to make the most of Microsoft’s products. The tools are there and once business managers have them in their hands they’ll be able to drive their own reports.
We offer a variety of services to help business solve their data issues. Companies looking to garner further information on customer patterns would benefit from the QUANTIQ Customer Insights in a Day workshop. As the name suggests, these will enable managers to get to grips with Microsoft’s software and help unlock the data hidden with your corporate information – whether that be structured or unstructured.
The workshop won’t turn anyone into data scientist within a day but it will greatly assist in an understanding of how your customers are operating with corresponding benefits for your bottom line.
And this could be complemented by QUANTIQ’s Dashboard in a Day workshop, helping you learn how to make the most out of Power BI for Dynamics 365, helping to create dashboards that will help model any corporate data.
The combination of QUANTIQ and Microsoft could be game changer. Businesses have been heading in the wrong direction. According to the New Vantage Partners, only 31 percent of companies claim to be data-driven, that’s compared to 37 percent in 2017. Companies in the past have found that the reality differs from the theory, but there is a way forward. QUANTIQ is committed to constructing a way for businesses to make the best use of all available data within an enterprise, finally making the democratisation of data a reality. Contact us today to start your journey to Democratised Data.