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Build the Foundation to Digital Transformation through Big Data Enablement

The Digital Age is also the Age of Data. During Davos 2020, renown historian and futurist Yuval Harari once again emphasized us of the importance and potential power of data.

In fact, he envisioned a future where there where 2 classes of people–the wealthy elites who controlled data and the exploited “data colonies.” Data, he felt, would become so important, it will become the source of power. With enough data, he warned, countries no longer need to send soldiers to conquer others.

But, we may be getting ahead of ourselves! The point is–data is important. The fundamental way organizations can leverage data now is through the enablement of  Big Data technologies.

Today, the leadership of every organization recognizes the benefits of Big Data. What they do not realize are the measures they need to take to harness its full potential. Big Data has transformed the way data is obtained, examined, saved, and utilized.

Now instead of having discrete systems for individual departments, organizations can create one system performing diverse functions. To employ Big Data, firms will have to rethink:

  1. The way information is retrieved and stored.
  2. Adoption of new capabilities, tools, collaborations, organizational changes, and outlook.

Organizations that are able to rethink and pursue innovative new approaches to utilize Big Data will leapfrog ahead of competition. In order to achieve this, we must first understand the 3 core components of Big Data (depicted below).

Each of these 3 core components lends itself to 2 foundational capabilities. Let’s look at each component.

1. Data Usage

Through data usage, we identify new opportunities and build trust with customers (by utilizing data transparently and responsibly).

  • Opportunities – Build a culture of innovation and experimentation.
  • Trust – Establish trust among consumers to enable broad use of their data.

2. Data Engine

The Data Engine refers to how we deploy technology infrastructure and structure our organization. As with any technology deployment, the technology and our business processes must be seamlessly integrated to maximize its productive usage.

  • Platform – Leverage flexible, scalable, and efficient data systems.
  • Organization – Develop capabilities to implement and leverage relevant data applications.

3. Data Ecosystem

The Data Ecosystem captures how we participate in a Big Data ecosystem and make relationships/partnerships work.

  • Participation – Identify strategic partners that can help unlock new economic opportunities.
  • Relationships – Create an open culture to support partnering and the sharing of data.

By fully examining and leveraging these 6 capabilities, we can develop a Data Strategy that propels us ahead of the competition. Our data infrastructure and usage can become a source of Competitive Advantage. It can also provide a foundation to an overarching Digital Transformation Strategy that allows us to pursue new business models, product offerings, and markets (potential Blue Oceans).

Interested in diving much deeper into each of these 6 capabilities? Take a look at our framework on the Big Data Enablement Framework.

About David Tang

David Tang is an entrepreneur and management consultant. His current focus is Flevy, the marketplace for premium business documents (e.g. business frameworks, presentation templates, financial models). Prior to Flevy, David worked as a management consultant for 8 years. His consulting experience spans corporate strategy, marketing, operations, change management, and IT; both domestic and international (EMEA + APAC). Industries served include Media & Entertainment, Telecommunications, Consumer Products/Retail, High-Tech, Life Sciences, and Business Services. You can connect with David here on LinkedIn.

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