The Customer Approach: Data for Decisions Not Data for Itself
Data, Data, Data. It’s hard to hear about anything else. When concepts take flight in the business of technology, they soar to amazing heights. This is a great thing about our industry but also creates confusion. People rightfully ask, “If we are truly in the age of Data and Data is indeed so great, why is my business not flourishing as it should?”
In some sense, this is the eternal question. For 3 decades, Technologists have been promising miracles with Business Intelligence; many companies have realized significant benefits, but many others have come to conceive of Data as an “end in itself” and not as the fuel to turbocharge their organizations. Where BI has failed, it has failed spectacularly.
To understand this, we must be fair in assessing blame. No doubt, many vendors offered hyperbolic rhetoric in place of great technology and many implementation partners believed that technology would be a silver bullet. However, there is more context to be had. Some pundits discussed the lack of a “Data Culture,” and while they were perfectly right, they too missed part of the story. In reality, the reason that “Data” is often seen as a false prophet, is that organizations forgot two basic things:
1. Customers must be the real beneficiaries of a data strategy
2. Data is only useful if it supports Decisions
In the absence of true customer focus, Data gathering becomes a psychosis. In the absence of decision-based Data gathering, this psychosis becomes endemic. When we bring the data conversation back to the customer and back to the specific decisions the customer needs to make, we rediscover its beauty, elegance, and practical value.
Guest Author: Samir Saluja, DeriveOne
Joint Author: Dharmesh Godha, Advaiya
Samir Saluja is the Co-Founder of DeriveOne, a firm specializing in decision based research and analytics. Samir’s business leadership experience spans multiple industries including software and cloud services, manufacturing, consumer goods, financial services, and consulting. Prior to DeriveOne, Samir led the Microsoft Professional Program business for Microsoft.
Dharmesh is the President and CTO at Advaiya Solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in various technology platforms, solution design, and project implementations.