Data for every business – but how, when and why?

Yesterday, I took part in a panel discussion with executive recruitment firm Morgan McKinley, discussing how companies can accelerate their digital, data and automation strategies.

It was an interesting debate, not least because of the variety of roles and organizations taking part – SMEs and technology super-users, COOs, CEOs and founders, from the fintech  space and more-broadly. You can catch the debate – How to Unlock The Potential of Your Data – on demand at Morgan McKinley’s website. And it was great to join Leanne Ward, Salem Lassoued and Simon Herbert.

We were all asked for our top-five insights into getting the most out of your data. Here re mine:

  1. Start and be guided by your business objectives. Identify the customer outcomes that you need to deliver,  to achieve your business objectives.
  2. Determine what metrics are most important to you (and the business) – these should  indicate the customer outcomes (customer acquisition? product usage? et.c), and understand what is the core data you need to:
    • Understand success
    • Understand the funnel and levers you have to move that will drive that success – in other words, the relationship between all these touch points and data that will lead to successful outcomes
    • Make decisions against these
  3. Make your data actionable – identify the frequency and timeliness of data requirements, and the decisions you need to make and when you need to make them. Consider everything as a test environment where you are putting a series of hypotheses to test. For example, propose things like “if we do x, y should happen” – then measure if that hypothesis proved to be true or not.
  4. Present all data in the context of:
    • what it is
    • why it’s important
    • what you recommend be done next 
  5. Hire smart, talented people, who get things done, are infinite learners, and aren’t arseholes! You need highly adaptable, critical thinkers who can build and deliver outcomes.  As things change quickly, so must they, you and the decisions you make.  

I’d be interested in knowing how you and your organization get leverage from your data…