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TDWI Upside - Where Data Means Business

Do More with What You Have in 2024: 3 Trends for Scrappy Data and Analytics Leaders

In times of tight budgets, you’ll need to find ways to get more from your existing assets. Here are three ways to optimize the value of your data.

Forget “do more with less.” In 2024, doing more with what you already have will be the hallmark for data analysts.

I have three recommendations for scrappy (read: agile) data and analytics leaders who want to prove their value without bringing on a new tool or (possibly) asking for additional funding. Understanding these trends will help leaders plot new tactics and prove their value to the business.

Recommendation #1: Monetize existing data

Monetizing existing data is becoming a pivotal strategy for businesses across industries. As data continues to grow in volume and importance, organizations recognize the untapped value within their databases.

For Further Reading:

How to Monetize Your Data Assets

A Framework for Data Monetization

Data Fabric: How to Architect Your Next-Generation Data Management

Businesses often sit on a gold mine of customer data, including purchase history, browsing behavior, and demographic information. By analyzing this data, companies can gain profound insights into customer preferences and behavior. This information can then be used to tailor products, services, and marketing efforts to individual customers, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.

E-commerce businesses such as Amazon can mine customers’ purchase history to better understand what they might purchase in the future. Amazon leverages user data to present better product recommendations and thus increase their sales revenue.

Other companies may choose to monetize their data directly by participating in data exchange platforms or marketplaces. These platforms allow companies to share their data with other businesses in exchange for monetary compensation. For example, a weather data provider may sell its historical weather data to agricultural companies, which can use it for crop yield predictions and risk assessment.

Another approach is to offer subscription services or premium insights to customers or other businesses. By providing access to exclusive data sets, analytics tools, or industry reports, companies can generate recurring revenue streams. For example, Forbes reports that John Deere has “pioneered the model of selling data from its sensor-laden farm equipment back to farmers as insights to improve productivity.”

Whether you use data to improve the customer experience, sell the data to another business, or sell the data (or a resulting product) to consumers, it’s a smart play for data analytics leaders to consider unleashing the revenue already locked inside their data stores.

Recommendation #2: Free siloed data

New types and combinations of data are flowing into businesses, and your role is to derive business value from them. However, data is often found in silos, and if you are responsible for building a data-driven enterprise increasingly dependent on data sharing, you may struggle to identify, locate, and enable reuse of data that is aligned to your business strategy.

Data sharing will be a key priority for data and analytics leaders in 2024. It’s an essential business capability, enabling access to the right data at the right time to derive the most salient insight. In addition to sharing data internally and externally, data and analytics leaders will need to use shared data to support data as a product, driving innovation within the company.

How do you move forward with data sharing in 2024?

  • Consider adopting a data fabric design to enable a single architecture for data sharing across heterogeneous internal and external data sources.

  • Establish trust in all your data -- internal, external, and metadata as well as your data sources. You can use the principles of data observability to monitor your data’s quality to ensure it is reliable and accurate.

  • Implement data catalogs and metadata management solutions that provide a centralized repository of data assets. Then, develop and implement a robust data governance framework that outlines ownership, access controls, and data sharing policies. This makes the data available while governed by a set of overarching rules.

Recommendation #3: Leverage customer feedback

In 2024, executives will demand more evidence of the trends that data leaders bring to the table. It’s one thing to show a macro trend; it’s another thing to prove your point with real customer feedback.

In the coming year, analysts will use more anecdotal evidence to support larger macro trends. Real customer feedback will give your reports and trends a human voice, making your recommendations more persuasive. Here’s how you provide a qualitative dimension to your quantitative data analysis.

  • Collect and curate anecdotal feedback. Ensure that you can access feedback in customer reviews, social media comments, customer service interactions, and interviews. Make sure the feedback is diverse and representative.

  • Categorize anecdotes into themes that align with the macro-level trends you want to investigate. For instance, if you're studying a trend related to product satisfaction, categorize anecdotes into "positive feedback," "negative feedback," and "suggestions for improvement."

  • Quantify the anecdotal data by assigning numerical values to the feedback. For example, you can use sentiment analysis tools to quantify the sentiment expressed in customer reviews or assign a scale to the severity of issues raised in feedback.

  • Overlay the quantitative data related to the macro-level trend with the anecdotal feedback. Look for patterns and correlations between the two data sets. For example, if your macro-level trend is declining product satisfaction, compare customer survey scores with the sentiment expressed in anecdotal feedback.

  • Visualize the findings. Use charts and graphs to illustrate the alignment between the anecdotal feedback and quantitative data. Highlight a few representative anecdotes to better prove your point. Craft a narrative that connects the anecdotal feedback with your macro-level trends.

Using these steps, you can use anecdotal feedback to better support the bigger reports and trends you are presenting internally.

A Final Word

In 2024, data and analytics leaders should monetize existing data, share that data throughout the organization, and leverage customer feedback to provide the anecdotes executives need to truly buy in to a strategy.

These recommendations all revolve around doing more with the same data, only monetized, shared, analyzed, reported on, and believed. Adopt these recommendations and you can provide even more value to your business in 2024.

About the Author

Brandi Vandegriff is the chief technology officer for Alchemer, an enterprise feedback platform, where she directs technology strategy and ensures alignment with business strategy, vision, and goals. With over 15 years of experience developing and delivering on technology strategy, Vandegriff has honed her executive leadership skills and ability to build high-performing teams. Since starting in the industry, she has led digital transformations, developed technology road maps, and managed high-impact process improvements across small- to mid-sized companies.

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