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Use Data to Accelerate Your Business Strategy

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Use Data to Accelerate Your Business Strategy

Image caption: Jorg Greuel/Getty Images. Article by John Ladley and Thomas C. Redman.

Thirty-five years after Robert Waterman’s observation in In Search of Excellence that companies were “data rich and information poor,” little has changed. For sure companies are “data richer,” having exponentially more data at their disposal. But they are still information poor, even as leaders have implemented a wide array of programs aimed at exploiting data.

Most still struggle to build data into their business strategies and, conversely, to align their data efforts to the needs of the business. There are a host of reasons, from lack of talent to unreasonable expectations to culture. Solving these problems is essential for those that wish to unleash the power of data across their organizations. It should come as no surprise that data is not yet strategic for many organizations. Business is already complex enough: When setting a company strategy, there are customers to satisfy, competitors to fend off, uncertain regulatory environments to accommodate, and skills gaps that must be closed. Plenty of great ideas — including carbon neutrality, diversity, social responsibility, new technologies, and yes, data — compete for resources and attention. Many success stories confirm data can add enormous value, but it is hard to know where data fits. […]

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