i3 | December 02, 2020

Data Management and Visualization

Scott Steinberg

Data Management and Visualization

To succeed in business, you need to collect data but also visualize and interpret it to equip your team with the skills needed to smartly respond to the insights it presents. Cisco projects that 27.1 billion devices will be connected and capable of transmitting feedback by 2021. And Experian reports that 99% of organizations say being data-driven conveys competitive advantage.

But at the same time, 97% of data is unused by organizations, according to Gartner, and Accenture notes that just one in four employees describe themselves as data literate. To bridge the gap, it’s important to find effective ways to organize information across your business. It’s also vital to embrace the art of data visualization — the practice of visually presenting information in an easily understood way to convey key insights.

Data Literacy and Analytics

Boosting your business’ data literacy, and ability to work with analytics, requires the use of both high- and low-tech solutions. Part of the challenge lies in improving data management schemes and IT infrastructures, while also upskilling your workforce. Today nine in 10 businesses admit managing information is difficult, while a third struggle to access trustworthy information to make decisions. Providing tools that can help employees quickly interpret signals that the market is sending, and translate them into actionable business intelligence, is crucial.

Only half of enterprises trust their own data, says Experian’s Global Data Management Report, while 95% believe their business suffers from poor quality data. This problem can be solved by implementing universal tools across your IT infrastructure with standardized methods to collect, sort and share data across your organization. These centralized systems make it easier for employees to access information anytime, anywhere on-demand. They should also be designed to be contextual (capable of using insights to provide informed interactions); able to apply these insights in real-time; and built to be scalable. Likewise, these high-tech systems should automatically scrub and verify the accuracy of the data on a routine (daily, weekly, monthly) basis.

It’s also vital to guard against human error in your data management capabilities. Worker bias can be a potential factor when weighing data sets, and key data points, timeframes and metrics can differ greatly from one department to the next. Meaning that even when equipped with powerful data collection and visualization tools, these factors can still lead to strategic misunderstandings and missed opportunities to grow your business.

When picking a tool consider solutions that also capitalize on artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Backed by cognitive algorithms, these smart solutions can automatically reconcile information from many sources, even when encoded in different formats. They can also provide 360-degree visibility into what’s happening in a business. Using them, you can pull the needed information in real-time to predict market patterns and shoppers’ purchasing habits; identify new opportunities for expansion; streamline internal processes; locate areas to cut costs and improve efficiency; translate learnings into graphics that quickly convey key insights; and make smarter strategic decisions.

Stay Ahead

To boost your visibility into what’s happening in your organization, you must enhance your firm’s data literacy and ability to access information. Providing end-to-end data management and visualization tools can uncover helpful business insights, and quickly give end-users the perspective they need to ask smarter questions.

Key insights must be put into action to be effective. Combining real-world training with AI and machine learning-powered solutions, which automatically learn and grow with each new interaction, will lead to new opportunities. 

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