Why will this help?
There are two ways that a data innovation exercise can help, depending on the situation your business is in.
One – if activity and revenue have been impacted by coronavirus, this is an opportunity to identify how you can use your data to lessen the damage now or in the future. Businesses in almost every sector are using digital to explore new avenues – from digitised events to targeting new customers – but to grasp these opportunities, you have to understand your data and have an idea of what you want to get from it.
Two – if your business is experiencing increased demand (for instance, a surge in online orders) how can you adapt and innovate to meet this demand and offer something new? In order to adapt to the current climate, we’ve seen online retailers are using data to prioritise particular customers, and food wholesalers using data to make their service available to consumers.
Identify goals and opportunities now – whether you’re ready to take action, or are preparing for the future.
Before you start with innovation, you need to know that the data you have is accurate, reliable and up to date, and understand what data is important and what’s essential to meet your goals.
Without this step, you could be basing plans on inaccurate or irrelevant information, which will cause obstacles in the future.
You’ll also need to make sure you can rely on that data quality moving forward. A Data Governance project can ensure that people and processes are engaging with data effectively, eradicating errors further down the line.
But just having clean data won’t make that data usable. You also need to understand what data is important and what’s essential to meet your goals.
How can you add value with your data? Look at:
- Customer demand
- Competitor or cross-sector success stories
- Gaps in your market for digital or data-based solutions
What does innovation look like?
- Improvement: Could a more efficient supply chain enable you to reduce costs? Can 360 customer data allow you to improve customer insight – and sales? Improvements with data can have just as big an impact as exploring whole new avenues.
- Extension: What existing activity can you do better – to increase value, improve profit and maximise data return? This could be upscaling your digital communications with customers or integrating e-commerce platforms.
- Invention: Could you use your data to launch a brand-new product, service, communication or route to market? This may be a second phase to your innovation project, or something to plan for the future.
What do I need to do?
Look at the data you have available.
How can you add value with this data? Consider demand vs investment and return.
What additional information do you need to make these plans a reality?
Is your current technology up to the task? Explore hidden or inactive functions in your technology.
Identify data gaps. Has your data exploration highlighted missing information that could be useful for future innovations, and how can you get it?
Define your strategy. What next steps do you need to take to put these plans into action?