The next step in the evolution of data involves becoming more resilient to improve your organization’s chances of survival and success. Resilient businesses go beyond the norm of using internal data to improve performance, reduce costs, and connect with customers more effectively.
To unlock a new level of value from data, pioneering enterprises also gather information from outside their organization to inform their insights – such as intelligence from suppliers, partners, or distributors. This is because new data sources equal new opportunities for innovation and revenue. And businesses that welcome data from multiple sources are on the road to becoming data leaders. “With our own data, we can only look internally. We need to see industry benchmarks, regional trends, what waves we can ride on,” Snowflake recently shared.
Now, let’s explore how your business can build data diversity into your DNA.
Enriching insights with data diversity
Data diversity is about gathering data not only from internal business sources (such as other departments or regions) but also from external sources, such as partners, data from companies in the same supply chain, subsidiaries, or enterprises that offer complementary services or products. An example of this could be a Telco offering international roaming plans to digital nomads, for instance.
The benefits of broadening your business’ data sources include richer insights, more agility and innovation, improved production, and the ability to truly personalize the customer experience. For business leaders, these richer insights also enable more precise planning with greater accuracy in your data models for forecasting and more granular visibility into insights.
According to an IDC report, companies are already spending more on external data, with over 50% even overspending on their budget. So, while it’s evident that companies want to get the benefits of diverse datasets in their business intelligence, are they actually reaping those benefits?
According to a recent Snowflake report which surveyed an array of businesses, “only 6% are leaders in the growing data economy – in other words, only 6% of businesses surveyed are currently maximizing the value of both their internal data and external data.
Though the intent to gather and share more external data may be present, the graph below shows how less than half of the companies report using more data than last year. And where intent is high, but execution is low, the obvious question becomes: what’s getting in the way?
To begin removing roadblocks and uncovering a better path to success, a business must refine and better understand the goals of enhancing their data diversity.
First, a business should ask how external data adds more diversity to its current data. According to Snowflake, external data adds additional layers of information and insight that improve the value and accuracy of data with each additional layer. The three layers they explore in more depth include:
1. A base layer – the most basic information such as a customer’s data of birth or gender.
2. A context layer – this layer could include further details such as a customer’s address or education details.
3. A dynamic layer – now you’d be looking at data such as a customer’s current location or recent purchase history.
All of these layers together create in-depth, comprehensive data stories that open up opportunities for differentiation and insight.
Next, to ensure you’re incorporating a wider range of data – to drive innovation – a business should consider the sources that it can include from both of these data categories:
- Wide data – a variety of data sources or combinations capturing a broad scope of parameters. This category includes small, large, structured, and unstructured data from any source
- Small data – now we’re talking about discrete data sets. This could be a survey of consumers or poll results, for instance. And this data is often analyzed over time to recognize and predict changes in behavior
The added value of team diversity
The people-focused side of data diversity and data sharing is another critical aspect of success in this area. The greater the diversity in your data teams, the more you’re able to embrace a range of viewpoints. Teams that enjoy differences in age, gender, and ethnicity, for instance, have more mental and emotional ammo to challenge the status quo and innovate faster!
Gartner shares that: “High-performance teams are needed for project and product design, and engineering activities. And those that advocate diversity and inclusive behaviors help to scale digital initiatives.” What’s more, these teams also tend to exceed their financial targets.
For organizations that want to embrace a data-driven approach more fully, the mix of diverse data and data teams is a successful recipe. Coupled with the agility and scalability of the cloud, the possibilities for better insights, and more reliable decision making – at pace – open up.
Smarter BI with live data sharing
With the added speed and flexibility of cloud infrastructure, live data sharing leads to new possibilities for businesses. Users can instantly share data and collaborate without the hindrance of data siloes or risking the security of their data. Plus, they have trusted, hyper-relevant data at hand to support collaborative business intelligence that moves at the pace of their organization and industry.
Take a retailer, for example. A retail business could work collaboratively with a complementary business, such as a fintech platform, creating new, untapped customer insights. The new level of personalization the retailer can develop will maintain not only current customer satisfaction levels, but also hook new customers with a fun, innovative approach.
Another advantage when sharing data through a cloud platform like Snowflake is that your data is always secure, and aligned with compliance standards through built-in access controls and data governance. Forward-thinking companies are also realizing the benefits of adding cloud-native analytics solutions, like Astrato, to their business tools, enabling everyone to access and share live insights, instantly.
Data sharing enables businesses to access diverse data – opening up a new world of thinking, innovation, and revenue opportunities. We hope you’re ready to start your journey to becoming a data leader!