Digital maturity : the road to data driven

April 29, 2022
20 minute(s)

In a challenging period where companies must not miss the digitalization curve, digital maturity is the watchword par excellence.   

Data Driven” is a word that we hear more and more, isn’t it?  What does it mean? And on what basis can a company be described as “data driven”? 

Fundamental changes to undertake the data driven approach

The subject of data is of major importance. Indeed, being data-driven revolves around several pillars such as: the company’s vision, the company’s culture, the technology, the human capital skills, the industry or business and many other elements. Furthermore, being a data-driven company means relying on a data strategy to improve decision-making.   

It is based on the fact that the right decisions come from the company’s data (customers, users, prospects, etc.). Data is therefore truly integrated into all the growth levers of a company: acquisition, conversion, customer loyalty.   

This topic is becoming increasingly important at the moment, as most companies have recently begun a digital transformation project through structural changes to their infrastructure, information systems, ERP, CRM and a range of other IT solutions that help companies in areas such as retail, textiles and manufacturing.    

Furthermore, all of the above elements generate internal data in addition to external data generated by customers (especially in a very dynamic, uncertain and rapidly accelerating world). This realization makes it necessary to anticipate and forecast the future in order to respond effectively to the needs of its market. This can only be done by using data to make the right decisions and simply be “Action Driven”.   

The rise of powerful new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning and other less known technologies such as web scraping and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has propelled these structural changes within companies.   

It should be noted that in order to become a truly “Data Driven” company, it is first necessary to have ” usable ” data (collected, organised and processed) and to know what to do with it, and rightly so, by decision-makers.

So, what is “data driven” exactly ? 

The data driven approach is the gathering of external data (statistical studies, social networks, CRM) in order to increase data assets and optimise decision making in terms of pricing, product ranges, sales trends, to take the example of an online merchant.   

Knowing how to use business intelligence to analyse, understand and decide quickly and at the right time on several significant indicators in the generated dashboards.   

And finally, how to transform this data into intelligence? By creating analytical models that help decision-making, such as forecasting (for retailers), credit scoring (for bankers), etc.   

This is a large-scale project that companies have started using business intelligence and data management to improve the use of data. This will enable them to have more visibility and save time.  

Data providers or data owners ? 

For the companies that provide the data (especially the external data), this also represents a great opportunity and a great challenge, at the same time. Indeed, it is a huge collection of external data (e.g., product lists, availability, prices, etc.) that enriches the data that companies already have (e.g., targeting, retargeting, customer behaviour, customer acquisition funnel data collected from targeted campaigns on social networks).   

These external data providers are taking on a different business model and adapting to the data needs of their clients to make the necessary adjustments to catch up with the competition in terms of pricings, product matching etc…   

The challenges are also there for these structures 

  • Guarantee a return on investment    
  • Adapting the products/technologies offered to small structures    
  • Presenting simple dashboards that could be analysed by profiles that do not master data science (e.g., store manager, purchasing director etc. ….) 

Internal data is also very important because it allows you to the bigger picture of the course of your business and to make the right decisions at the right time using a data visualisation. Also, the analysis of dashboards and their impact on the business.     

To do this, the data must be well integrated and centralised in an organised system and in a pyramid-like manner. In this way, business profiles/skills (data engineer, data scientist & data analyst) can be easily incorporated and guide decision-making.   

What are the challenges of a data driven approach ? 

The challenge for Data Driven companies is to exploit data and monetise it in order to have as many customers as possible (customer acquisition, customer intelligence through social networks, smart phone wallet)   

Several use-cases were presented in this sense, here are some that prove the importance of data exploitation:    

  • Create forecasting models that predict sales following an adjustment of shop layouts for example (retail industry)    
  • Create price optimisation models and partner with external data providers to analyse external data, especially from competitors.   
  • Detect fraud cases at checkout/warehouse level to act effectively. This depends on certain data such as product, price, time and date of transaction, checkout used, employee ID, promotions/discounts applied: Create analytical models that detect recorded fraud and anticipate future cases of fraud to react very quickly.   

Data must flow in a very fluid and transparent way and be aggregated to be used by the same departments.   

Any company that starts a “Data Driven” project will face challenges, of course it must have the resources needed to overcome them and always believe that the purpose of having data and taking such an approach is purely a business concern rather than a technological one. It is no doubt necessary to know how to make the most of the data collected, to refine it as much as possible and to extract customer insights revealing the right decisions at the right time.   

Currently and in the near future, the world will be marked by digital maturity, social selling, customer insights and many other concepts that we will introduce to you in the next Timsoft webinars. 

Stay tuned 😊    

This article is a summary of the webinar that took place on 29 September 2021 with the participation of Mr Hedi Zaher CEO of DATAVORA, Mr Sabri Ghariani IT Manager Exist and Mr Slim Kallel Client Advisor and Go-To-Market Leader region EMEA at SAS. To view the entire webinar, click on this link:
Replay Webinaire Timsoft ▶️ Maturité digitale : la route vers le « data-driven » – YouTube 

*Product Matching or the product range: All the references offered by a point of sale or an e-commerce site to its customers/shoppers.