4 Key Challenges to Tapping the Power of Data – A Hitachi Solutions Roundtable

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Fostering the exchange of technical knowledge and industry collaboration are key values in Hitachi Solutions’ culture, and part of that is driving conversations around innovative ways to accelerate and optimize the value of your data.

To that end, we recently hosted a roundtable for thought leaders and c-level data executives from some of the largest banking institutions in Canada. Held in collaboration with the EDM Council, the event gave technical leaders of financial institutions the opportunity to share how they are tapping into the power of their data, and at the same time outline the challenges they’ve faced along their data journey.

 The exclusive roundtable included the following industry and data management professionals:

Hitachi Solutions thanks them all for their time and expertise, and willingness to share and contribute to the enrichment of the broader community. The engagement resulted in meaningful conversations around some complex data management issues. Here are the top four noted during the discussion:

Challenge 1: Understanding your data maturity

Organizations all deal with data differently and are at various stages concerning how they perform data analysis. Thus, every organization is in a unique position on the data maturity curve, and significant differences exist in what appear to be similar organizations. Maturity models describe the progressive path that analytics take from being just an activity to becoming a critical component of the business strategy, and where each organization is in its data maturity directly affects how it should think about and plan its data analytics program.

At the onset, organizations should start by looking at their current solutions and questioning how effectively they are being used. More importantly, are they providing sufficient context to make reliable decisions? More mature organizations can start to evolve their strategy and solutions to manage their data more effectively and deliver business insights consistently.

Challenge 2: Justifying the expense

Companies need to objectively understand their end-to-end data estate in order to budget or optimize spending because it is crucial to rationalize the cost. When justifying the expense, consider attaching it to something that already has business value, and align it with the current business strategy, objectives, and priorities. Where can core aspects of data management bring a solution to an existing problem? 

If you can start small and prove value, senior leadership will more clearly see a compelling case for further investment in data projects. Also, encourage business partners to proactively reach out with opportunities for value creation and start educating employees as to what advanced analytics can do for them.

Challenge 3: Assembling the team

Once you have leadership buy-in, getting the right people in place and organizing them appropriately is another challenge, as is clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities for the team.

Consider including representatives from each line of business because they are closest to the data and understand how data is being used on a day-to-day basis.

Joining producers and data consumers in conversation will only improve all aspects of a data and analytics program. When the entire team has insight into how data is used holistically, it is easier to identify gaps and include those disparities in your program.

Challenge 4: Tracking the ROI

Just having data isn’t enough — it needs to be used to paint a performance picture to illustrate its ongoing business value.  Communicating the ROI is difficult because the value created for the organization is often indirect, and attaching measurable metrics is difficult but critical to support ongoing investment in a data analytics program.

To that end, it helps to define “success” and identify all the direct and indirect ways in which data is a contributor. Direct impact occurs when a data project leads directly to an outcome. Indirect impact occurs when data-related activities stimulate other activities that result in improved outcomes. Data can play a role in increasing sales, improving internal performance, and reducing costs as well as enhancing customer satisfaction and corporate standing.

Getting Started

Turning a mandate to become data-driven into an achievable action plan and timeline looks different for every business and is not without challenges. If you’re interested in how to begin a data management program or assess where your company currently stands along the data maturity spectrum, reach out to us. Hitachi Solutions can put you on the right path, starting with a cross-industry assessment to evaluate your data management maturity and needs.

Hitachi Solutions is a proud member of the EDM Council, the global association created to elevate the practice of data management and analytics as a business and operational priority. As the cloud increasingly becomes a foundational component for business models, the Council’s CDMC framework is a valuable resource for comprehensive and up-to-date best practices across all industries.