Artificial Intelligence

How Data Maturity Impacts Businesses

Whether you're looking to improve customer insights, operational efficiency, or productivity, data maturity can impact your business.

To say the word 'data' is now commonplace in business would be an understatement. Hardly a day goes by without someone mentioning data in some capacity. It has become such an integral part of our lives that it's almost difficult to imagine living without it.

After all, data has the potential to offer insights that can help businesses make more informed decisions, which can, in turn, lead to increased revenue.

Data has infiltrated every nook and cranny of our business world—we rely on data for everything from the consumers' tastes to more important things like consumer trends and sales analysis. Currently, data is the lifeblood of businesses. Organizations looking to drive revenue invest in massive data collection and analysis to scale their financial numbers.

What is data maturity?

Data maturity is the ability to effectively use data to drive business decisions. The term encompasses the data lifecycle, from data collection and storage to data analysis and decision making.

By understanding data maturity and ways to improve data collection, analysis, and decision, data-driven enterprises can improve their chances for success. At this point, organizational leaders know that having chunks of data is not enough. There is also the need to analyze and extract notable business insights from it.

Data on its own does not mean much. But when it is collected and worked on, it can significantly impact the business, driving revenue to unprecedented heights.

But, before an organization gets to the stage where they become data innovators by using data to drive profitability, it will likely progress through several data maturity stages. Within a given organization, data maturity typically varies across different groups and functions.

Even the most sophisticated organizations have blind spots and gaps. For example, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says "we still have a lot to learn ... the progress has not been uniform ... but the results overall are encouraging, as we see increasingly innovative solutions to internal and customer-facing problems."

Data-Maturity-Stages

Unaware 

At this stage, organizations are not collecting data; if they are, they are not doing anything with it. They are unaware of its value or potential, so it is not used to drive decision-making. Decades into the Internet era, few organizations are entirely Unaware of the importance of data, but pockets of unaware-ness often remain in specific areas of the business. Managers may not have thought about how particular processes and outcomes can be instrumented and measured to illuminate weaknesses and opportunities.

Data Collection

The second stage is data collection. Here, organizations are starting to collect data but are unsure what to do with it. They know its potential value but lack the expertise or resources to use it. If you are in this stage you likely have a lot of manual data entry, a lot of spreadsheets, and little or no data governance. Perhaps you have dozens or hundreds of isolated databases, or have invested in a large-scale data warehouse or data lake.

The substantial challenges of ingesting, normalizing, storing, and maintaining data through its lifecycle, all while ensuring security and compliance, often hinder organizations in their efforts to move past this stage.

Data Analysis

Organizations at this stage are starting to probe for patterns in their data. You have one or more data science teams and possibly C-level leadership for data and analytics. This is the stage where your organization has a lot of dashboards, reports, and information portals, although in most cases, they are still siloed into various business units. Your employees have access to a lot of information, but likely struggle to make sense of it.

Emerging Intelligence

Organizations with emerging data intelligence are using data to drive business decisions and align on cross-functional goals. Line managers and leaders of data science teams communicate effectively, ensuring that analyses are grounded and relevant to important business outcomes. Your organization effectively prioritizes the streams of data to collect, the analyses to perform, and the KPIs to surface at senior executives and key decision-makers. By effectively utilizing data, the business improves its performance and drives revenue.

People-Facing AI

People-Facing AI is the final stage of data maturity, the last mile of getting your insights into the hands of front-line employees who need them, at the moment they need them, so the entire organization can be more adaptive and responsive. Instead of relying on dashboards and reports that decision-makers from time to time, personalized insights surface automatically in the flow of business activity, helping employees spot fleeting opportunities and respond faster to changing conditions.

This stage presents a new way of working that allows data to come to users where they work, so that they can focus on high-value work while trusting that data will find them when they need it. 

How Can Data Maturity Impact Revenue?

Now, to the question on the lips of most business owners. How can data maturity impact a business? There are several ways data maturity can impact revenue. But in general, it improves your control over your business. When you have important facts at your fingertips, you are better informed and confident enough to make smart business moves.

Here are some specific ways data maturity improves your revenue:

#1. Data-Driven Decision Making

One of the most direct ways that data maturity impacts revenue is through data-driven decision-making. The extent of data maturity your organization operates in will directly affect your revenue. If you have limited data, chances are that you'll only be making decisions based on the available data.

Worse still, you might make decisions based on your instincts and gut feeling. Every business needs a system through which it can make profitable decisions after analyzing a body of facts.

No organization stays ahead of its competitors or top of mind of customers by guessing their way around. As a result, attaining data maturity is a sure way to get data on consumer trends, improve your services, and understand staffing and other business factors that affect your productivity and revenue.

#2. Improved Sales

Like any business metric, increased data maturity can lead to increased sales and revenue.

As organizations move from data collection to data analysis to data-driven decision-making, they can better use data to improve performance, drive revenue and make decisions that will impact their bottom line.

#3. Greater Customer Insights

Data maturity can also lead to greater customer insights. When organizations are able to effectively collect and analyze data, they can gain a better understanding of their customers and their needs.

This understanding can then be used to improve customer service, target marketing efforts, and drive sales.

#4. Improved Operational Efficiency

When an organization reaches the final stages of data maturity, they should be able to see in increase in operational efficiency. ModuleQ's People-Facing AI connects the dots for your professionals, yielding key business insights distilled from their data (calendars, email, social, etc.), internal business data (proposals, reports, memos, etc.), and external business data (news and subscriptions).

Data should be doing the work for you, instead of you working for the data.

#5. Increased Productivity

By analyzing data on employee performance, organizations can identify areas where employees are underperforming and make changes to improve productivity. Additionally, businesses can use data to streamline processes and eliminate waste, further increasing productivity.

Using data, businesses can identify areas where there are wastes resources—such as time, money, or labor—and make changes to improve efficiency. The result? Increased profits and a competitive edge.

#6. Identifying Opportunities

Who doesn't want their business to grow? With data maturity, companies are able to identify opportunities for growth and make the necessary changes to take advantage of them.

For example, they may use data to identify new markets to enter or new products to develop. And as we all know, growth leads to increased sales and revenue.

#7. Cost Reduction

It's not all about revenue growth—data maturity can also lead to cost reduction.

As businesses become more data-driven, they can identify areas where they are spending unnecessarily and make changes to reduce costs. One typical example is reducing the need for manual data entry by automating processes.

When done effectively, cost reduction can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

As you can see, data maturity can significantly impact businesses in terms of revenue growth and cost reduction. If your organization is not yet using data to its full potential, now is the perfect time to start.

How to improve data maturity

If you're not already using data to its full potential, there are a few things you can do to improve data maturity in your organization.

  • Review data regularly: To make data-driven decisions, you need accurate and up-to-date data. Ensure you periodically review your data to ensure it is accurate and complete.

  • Analyze data: Once you have accurate data, it's time to start analyzing it. Look for patterns, trends, and relationships. This analysis will give you the insights you need to make data-driven decisions.

  • Implement data governance: It's essential to have a system in place to ensure data is accurate and reliable. This system is called data governance. Data governance includes processes, policies, and controls to ensure data is of high quality and fit for purpose.

  • ModuleQ's People-Facing AI: Bringing insights to your users doesn't have to be a complex project. Meet your users where they already are and proactively surface highly personalized, contextually relevant insights inside collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack. 

  • Use data visualization: Data visualization is a great way to communicate data-driven insights to decision-makers. When data is presented in an easy-to-understand format, it's easier to make data-driven decisions.

The Bottom Line

Whether you're looking to improve customer insights, operational efficiency, or productivity, data maturity can impact your business.

If you're not already using data to its full potential, now is the time to start. Implementing simple changes—such as reviewing data regularly, analyzing data, and implementing data governance—can make a big difference.

And, when you start making data-driven decisions, you'll be well on your way to achieving your business goals.

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