In business there are many kinds of assets. These can range from the physical such as inventory or real estate, to the intangible such as patents or brand value. But increasingly, perhaps the most valuable asset is data.
A new expert report (PDF) concludes businesses are failing to leverage the financial value of their brands, and recommends brand value be included in financial reporting. Smart businesses will also start seriously appreciating another intangible asset – their data – so they can more fully leverage it to create unprecedented new business value.
Here are 10 tips on why data is so valuable – and how to maximize yours
1. Move Beyond Gut Decisions
The greatest value of data is it allows you to make better business decisions. While some say it’s impossible to predict anything with absolute accuracy, decision-making based on data is more reliable. Data enables you to move beyond gut decisions.
2. Use Analytics to Uncover Insights
A diamond mine is only valuable when diamonds are extracted. Simply having data isn’t enough – taking action makes your data valuable. Analytics enables you to extract value from data, gain new insights into your business and customers, and take action.
3. Be Better and Faster
Data allows you to better understand what’s important to your customers, better and faster. You’re able to act on customer and market demands. And when you know more, you can do more of what matters.
4. Gain an Advantage
In anything there are leaders and followers. Companies on the leading edge of data analytics will be the early winners, and this will be an increasing differentiator in business. The companies that are first to operationalize data and take action, will have the greatest advantage.
5. Create a Corporate Culture
To maximize value, it’s essential you have a corporate culture that sees data as an asset. It’s not enough to break down data silos, you need to break down operational and organizational silos. It’s essential that you have buy-in across the enterprise, and that you’re ready to take action on insights.
6. Get As Much Data As You Can
Since data is an asset with value, it makes sense to acquire as much as you can. Yet some people view the growing volume of data as a threat. The growing volume of data is an opportunity. Make every effort to embrace and acquire all the data you can.
7. Welcome the Flow of Data
In some corporate cultures, people complain about “drowning in data.” The truth is they’re unable to manage, integrate, and use the data. Data is a faucet you should open widely.
8. Be Ready to Sift Data
As you continue to receive more and more data, you must be ready to process it. You need to have the tools, technologies, and processes to sift through it, and find the insights that matter most.
9. Take A Broad View
Another mistake companies make is failing to take a broad view of data. They’ll look at a small slice of data, customers, or the market, and mistakenly believe it represents the whole. With modern technology, it’s possible – and essential – to look at all the data.
10. Have a Hypothesis
Many companies approach data without a hypothesis, hoping to stumble upon insights. It’s much more valuable to begin with a hypothesis. For example, one of our clients had the hypothesis that younger clients offer greater lifetime value. They studied the data, and discovered the hypothesis was correct.
Conclusion: data can be your most valuable asset, allowing you to make decisions better and faster than your competitors. Gather as much data as you can, analyze it methodically, and then take action.