Five steps to becoming a data-driven business using technology

GUEST OPINION: Every organization and industry is changing. They strive to move faster, get smarter with data and innovate more with technology. In 2022, companies are very aware that digital transformation is a must. As companies take this path, they manage increasingly complex data and tasks. And while data is viewed as critical to any efficient operation, it also has the potential to become the greatest impediment to transformation.

According to Dell Technologies’ recent Breakthrough study, 61% of Australian respondents believe the opportunity to become a data-driven business will pass them by. Put another way, at any business conference, there’s a chance that more than half of the attendees are concerned about data.

39% of respondents believe their employees are not keeping up with technological change. It’s an interesting paradox. While technology empowers human potential, the number of solutions and settings to navigate can overwhelm employees with too many choices. However, the way out of the data labyrinth is often a mix of the right tools and a human perspective.

Here are five steps to help you master the digital transformation in your company:

1. Have a clear shared vision of how digital transformation can help you achieve your business goals.
Every IT problem starts with a business problem. Before you lay the foundation for handling your data, consider what challenges you as a company are trying to solve. Once you have that vision, you can formulate the right technology solution and work with the IT professionals on your team to create a plan. You don’t have to create an aggressive schedule. A step-by-step approach takes into account your most important asset – your people. Give them enough time to understand and align with the strategy.

2. Invest in appropriate edge and as-a-service strategies that scale.
As-a-Service experiences lighten or eliminate your team’s infrastructure management burden. With a flexible IT usage model, you can work agilely. But you can also control and scale your environment and adapt to different dynamics. And then there’s a possibility at the edge – where you can act on data close to where it originated to generate it. With real-time data analysis, you can work faster and reduce the costs associated with sending large amounts of data to one central location. This is especially true in industries like retail, healthcare, and even public transportation.

3. Automate everyday tasks.
Research shows that people would be willing to collaborate more with technology once the personal benefits are clear. In fact, 69% of respondents would be happy to have more time for it
develop their skills and increase their roles. By automating work, people can focus on what inspires them and discover business opportunities. Curiosity is a valuable skill for data analysis. And once your teams have enough time to look at the data with a strategic approach, pave the way for insight-based decisions.

4. Start with small pilots.
The sandbox environment is perfect for the test and learn method. People feel safe and you are in control of the impact. It’s one of the best tactics for gleaning insights from analytics while encouraging people to embrace and publicize the successes. At this point, you return to the first step in this framework. Look at the initial business problem. Combine your newly added technology with your team’s recent time gains for a positive outcome. Then assess, replicate, and scale your pilot.

5. Provide appropriate coaching, mentoring and reassurance.
A real breakthrough happens at the intersection of people and technology. Therefore, it is paramount to recognize that while consumption-based IT models give your teams the breathing space they need, you must deploy them in a way that is responsive to human behavior. Make sure everyone has access to the tools they need and enough training and resources to make the most of them. Communicate and create a platform to contribute ideas and make your voice heard. A lack of communication is one of the areas where respondents say their teams struggle the most.

Technology is playing a role in unlocking a culture shift toward data-driven decisions. As you enhance human skills with automation and consumption-based IT, you create new opportunities and experiences that delight your team. Then you can take their productivity to a new level and ensure they serve their purpose while delivering exceptional results.


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