Moving Data from the Basement to the Boardroom

Moving Data from the Basement to the Boardroom

According to IDG, 35% of companies with effective data grow faster year-on-year, however, many still take little notice of data quality or ongoing data management, pushing it into deepest corners to eventually be abandoned and forgotten.

If this sounds like you, it’s time to consider putting data at the top of your business agenda again…

Big Data – a neglected but important aspect of business survival

As stated on Forbes, more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race. This has led to the phenomenon known as ‘big data’. However, as we know its importance today, things weren’t so peachy a few years back. According to the report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), even in 2015 only a small percentage of companies reported  effective data management practice.

Moreover, the report found that while 75% of business owners were “making the most of their information assets,” with only 4% were set up for success. This was due to lack of tools and in-house knowledge of an effective data management, as well as disparate data sources. Overall, 43% of companies surveyed “obtain little tangible benefit from their information,” while 23% “derived no benefit whatsoever”.

The dangers of poor data management 

Having no data strategy is an ongoing problem that plagues businesses of today. And, if you don’t take steps to improve your data management, there could be serious consequences…

  • Misinformed decision – When data is not managed properly when held in multiple data sources creating siloes, it is difficult to gain a complete view of your business. This has a direct impact on decision making, which ultimately affects your revenue streams.
  • Missed opportunities – With no historical data or a clear strategy how to effectively manage new information, your business won’t be able to create accurate forecasts or anticipate customer demands. If you don’t know your customers and bombard them with irrelevant campaigns, they will leave your business out of pocket.

Big data takes its place at the boardroom table. While traditionally seen as an unnecessary burden which is difficult to manage, data has taken a seat at the table as an important tool helping business to grow and increase profitability. But what has changed…


General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new data privacy law coming into effect in May 2018 and is set to overhaul how businesses process and handle data. With fines as high as €20 million or up to 4% of global turnover for noncompliance, the regulations have become a priority for business to review processes and systems for data protection.

The age of the customer

Customers now have the ability to define your company’s success in a matter of seconds. Their expectations are changing and there is no doubt the digital age has transformed the way they shop. There is no going back to a pre-web mentality if you want to remain agile – satisfied customers spend more. This is where the importance of data comes in, allowing you to not only target customers with the right message at the right time, but also create life-time value, preventing them from switching when a competitor offers a better price.

From discovery to action: Master Data Management

Once you acknowledge the elephant in the room, it’s time to understand all facets of data – what data currently exists, what data they can get, how to organise it and, most importantly, how to put the data to use.

The best way to start is to implement a robust, enterprise-wide master data management (MDM) strategy to ensure the uniformity, accuracy, consistency and accountability of data assets. It is a foundation for a data first strategy that aligns with business objectives to support growth, profitability and customer retention.

The average business uses up to 13 different applications, therefore data is scattered amongst disparate systems. This results in poor communication between departments, systems and processes, leading to an inability to meet your clients needs and business goals.

MDM breaks those siloes by creating the central source for accurate fully cross-referenced real time master data. It must seamlessly integrate with all data warehouses, business management applications and Business Intelligence (BI) systems to bring the right information in the right form to the right person at the right time.

How to get there?

  • Identify the business value – Identify the business value of a MDM plan. Think about what you want to achieve and what will help you develop actionable insights.
  • Choose the best IT platform – A good platform and technology will help you to easily integrate all your data sources. Think about real time access and mobility.
  • Develop a holistic approach – Involve all business stakeholders as well as culture and internal politics to ensure a company-wide MDM strategy that is beneficial to all.
  • Time to begin your big data journey – The objective of Master Data Management is to provide and maintain a consistent view of your core business data entities.

Moving Data from the Basement to the Boardroom

Think Like a Billionaire. Think Clean Data

Think Like a Billionaire. Think Clean Data

Steve Ballmer the multibillionaire former CEO of Microsoft could very justifiably purchase a beach mansion in the Bahamas, erect a hammock and not have to lift a finger for the rest of his life.

But there is more on the mind of Ballmer, and that’s why he has chosen to write $10 million worth of personal cheques to A website which aims to provide accurate, accessible USA governmental data for everyone. It is a user friendly site which provides a wide range of statistics from how much tax US citizens pay to divorce rates.

Launched on April 18th 2017, had so much traffic on its first day that it crashed for hours. Within 48 hours it had had more than half a million visitors and over 2 million page views. So it would seem Steve Ballmer is not the only one who cares about clean data.

Ballmer hopes that with a clear set of data at the hands of ordinary Americans, people will be able to make the best, informed decisions regarding political elections. In his own words “I’m a numbers guy. They’re how I understand the world – what’s good and what’s bad, what’s working and what isn’t”.

Do Business like a Microsoft CEO

Data is at the centre of all decisions we make. Our brains are subconsciously taking in masses of information every second. It is therefore so important that you provide your brain and computer systems with clean and easily accessible data.

All over the world, businesses make erroneous decisions simply because they had poor data to work with or couldn’t find the data that they needed. A problem that is easily avoided.

If Billionaire Steve Ballmer finds clean data such a meaningful pursuit then surely it should be first on your to do list.

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

Below we will look at three ways that data can affect your business. One good, one bad and one downright ugly.

With good data, really good things can happen. Organizations can leverage their goldmine of data to achieve a wide range of business goals from automating workflows in order to save time and money to improving customer satisfaction.

The opportunities that having good data provide are endless. The world really becomes your oyster as you choose to apply your data towards an expansive range of possibilities.

With bad data, bad things can happen. Automated processes come to a halt or can’t be implemented.  Process automation absolutely requires clean, consistent data. If data becomes inconsistent, it can break processes. Likewise processes can be directed incorrectly because bad data guides them in the wrong direction.

With bad data as with good data, the possible outcomes are endless however with a negative spin. Bad data can cause havoc with all business systems, interpersonal and computational.

With bad data, the effects can become ugly very quickly. It is the problem that Steve Ballmer is trying to avoid with It is the continuous stream of bad decisions based on incomplete poor data.

There are no bounds to the destruction that bad decisions can have on your business. Every aspect of business from asset allocation to human resources can be affected. Decisions are at the root of everything we do and without quality data how can we expect to trust our decisions?


Think Like a Billionaire. Think Clean Data