Data holds incredible untapped potential for Australian organisations across industries, regardless of individual business goals, and all organisations are at different points in their data transformation journey with some achieving success faster than others.
To be successful, the use of data insights must become a central lifeforce throughout an organisation and not just reside within the confines of the IT team. More importantly, effective data strategies don’t stand still. They are living and breathing, constantly evolving to consider new information, technologies, and shifts in the wider market environment.
Uncovering the roadblocks to success
Our recent research revealed that businesses with mature data strategies of more than a year saw higher annual profit growth of 5%. On top of this, 94% of senior decision makers reported that their organisation would experience more revenue-paying opportunities if they could manage their data more effectively. But merely understanding all this potential is insufficient, as many businesses are still struggling to overcome roadblocks and realise their data as an invaluable asset, not just a by-product of the organisation.
To build culture and best practices around data extraction, accessibility, and strategy, each organisation needs to be on the same journey, including the leadership team. Despite a sophisticated level of awareness about big data in Australia, there remains a lack of strong leadership and buy-in from teams across the board: according to our research, only 12% of Australian IT decision makers said that their organisation interacts with all stages of the data lifecycle process.
Siloed data solutions or strategies designated to the IT team (or a small function within the business) just don’t work. In fact, they often lead to the majority of an organisation’s data remaining untapped and stagnant.
Aside from creating a disparate team culture, isolated data solutions lead to complicated IT setups and a lack of centralisation and collaboration. Without full control and visibility over every aspect of data, organisations lack all the insights needed to drive innovation, which can leave employees from different teams within the business without the access or ability to fully make use of their data.
Creating a data culture and centralising infrastructure
To complement the role of leaders, organisations should consider appointing data champions at every level to help create a data-driven internal culture. All employees should be aware of the data strategy and its benefits, and they should understand how to access and use data. Where data flows, ideas follow, and having access to data is where we start making the impossible possible.
Having a centralised data source makes it easier for teams to manage and access information while creating a collaborative culture, but achieving this continues to be a challenge. Our research found that 71% of Australian businesses haven’t democratised access to centralised analytics tools and support, and the majority (79%) haven’t completely built a big data infrastructure that is integrated across their organisation. Having a centralised source leads to significant wins, as often data is collected by business units that may also be useful to other teams, just in different ways.
Creating an integrated data infrastructure also makes governance and compliance easier. Our Shared Data Experience (SDX) solution allows organisations to control all their data no matter where it is, while also allowing policies for data access. In this way SDX enables democratisation while maintaining security, and directly addresses queries around how to avoid vendor lock-in without compromising on governance.
I recently had the pleasure to speak with a group of data decision makers in Sydney. Aside from enjoying meeting in person for the first time in what feels like a very long time, we had many encouraging conversations about their data experiences so far. In many ways, Australian businesses are very data savvy, actively exploring ways to create more powerful data-driven strategies within their organisations. But there is still room for improvement, and an all-important shift in mindset still needs to happen for many organisations if they hope to create a truly data-driven culture. To learn more on where your organisation stands in terms of enterprise data maturity, view the findings in detail here.