Data maturity doesn’t sit still: What might have been considered data maturity ten or even five years ago doesn’t hold up today. Analytics, business intelligence, machine learning, and everything else that goes into an organization’s data landscape have come too far in recent years. Achieving data maturity isn’t a “one and done” proposition, like turning 18 or having your wisdom teeth pulled. It requires steady maintenance.
But for some organizations, attaining initial data maturity still feels out of reach. Even if they’re collecting data, they aren’t utilizing it to its fullest. Here’s a look at why that’s important, and why improving your data maturity level could have a profound impact on your organization’s success.
Data Is Only as Valuable as Your Ability (and Willingness) to Use It
Companies today can collect data at a truly astonishing rate, and whole sectors of the economy are now built around gathering, buying, and selling this information. The internet has enabled mechanisms of data collection that would have been unimaginable twenty years ago, and much of this data is given freely by consumers in exchange for access to digital services. So what are companies doing with this glut of valuable information?
As it turns out, the answer is often “not much.” Less than a quarter of businesses would describe themselves as data driven, which means a whole lot of companies out there are making major decisions based on opinion, tradition, or cribbing off their competitors. There can be many reasons for this, but it often boils down to a basic inability or unwillingness to turn data into action. Unfortunately, this means that many companies are making a financial investment in data without reaping the benefits. It’s a lose-lose scenario, but it doesn’t have to be.
The Outcomes of Improving Your Data Maturity
The most compelling reasons to improve your data maturity are the results you can achieve. Those outcomes can include:
By moving beyond collection and putting your data to work, your business can achieve greater things.
Maturing Your Data Begins with a Comprehensive Assessment
If achieving data maturity was simple, every business would do it. For most companies it can be difficult to even know where to begin. That’s why a strategic data assessment is often the best first step you can take.
These assessments take a close look at the way your business collects data to identify gaps, and to investigate where your current practices fail to align with your goals. By getting a clear view of the way things are today, strategic data assessments can help your business develop a plan for improving the way you use data to drive toward ever better results.
Don’t just collect data. Use it to achieve your goals.