A Guide to the Value of Data Management Consulting for Tech Executives
Experts agree that you can gain a considerable competitive advantage by improving the way you manage your data. The meteoric success of many startups this century is to a large extent due to the way they manage data, the most celebrated being Facebook. Data include not only the structured data traditionally stored in databases, but unstructured data like videos, social media posts, tweets and feeds.
Managing this plethora of information effectively can be a daunting project, especially if you’re a small business owner and don’t know where to start. And for large enterprises, the threat of data breaches is this century’s biggest headache. A data manager that wears more than one hat may be needed, e.g. someone with extensive knowledge of the industry plus expertise in cyber security. An example is the multi-talented CMIO in healthcare, the top-targeted industry by cyber-criminals in 2015, who is a professional medical practitioner, an IT professional and a cyber-policeman.
In-house versus outsourcing data management
“As technology makes it easier for a business to find and collaborate with outside expertise, a huge and competitive market for consultants will arise.”
One of the ways you can tackle the challenge of modern data management is by employing a full-time CDO (Chief Data Officer), or task your CMIO, CIO or CTO with the job (if they’re not already doing it). If you don’t have the resources on-site, sometimes outsourcing is a faster, and more cost-effective, way to source extra capabilities and expert knowledge. In a 2016 survey of executives from 674 global enterprises, respondents said their company did not have an effective business strategy for competing in a digital, analytics-enabled world.
Data management consulting can mitigate the threat of data theft
It is predicted that 50-million devices will be internet-connected by 2020, so it is not surprising that the challenges faced by eCommerce are different to those faced by traditional commercial enterprises. The theft of sensitive customer data in cyber attacks, virtually a daily occurrence, is one. The cost to enterprises includes reputational damage, threats of extortion, lawsuits, regulatory fines and the need to hire expensive experts in mop-up operations, from lawyers to security consultants.
When the Ashley Madison hack hit the news headlines, experts predicted the notorious website would be shut down (it was what the hackers demanded), with its reputation shot down in flames. But it didn’t. Despite reports of a number of suicides and numerous lawsuits against the company, Ashley Madison appeared to become even more popular. But, unless you’re an Ashley Madison, can you take the risk? Professional data management consultants who specialize in data security can mitigate the threat of data theft as part of a holistic data management strategy.
Big data needs to be professionally managed
“You can have data without information, but you cannot have information without data.”
IBMs claims that nearly 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. The sheer volume of big data necessitates more powerful processing hardware and software, as well as human input in the form of data management consulting. Data-driven insights allows for strategic business planning and revenue growth which is where the professionals come in.
In order to add business value, policy-making, planning and management rely on processed information, not raw data; i.e. data has to be interpreted before it can add value to a business’s bottom line. As the old saying goes, age is just a number. However, knowing the age range of your existing customers can help you align your product range with, and market it to, the most prolific buyers of your product or service. The field of data management consulting can assist in devising a strategy for analyzing and managing this data.
Do you need data management consulting?
“Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.”
- Exponential growth in big data, both structured and unstructured, and need for new tools and methodologies to gather and analyze it;
- Need for effective mobile delivery of information, e.g. real-time delivery and beautifully responsive rendering of data on mobile devices;
- Challenge of learning complex new technologies ;
- Voluminous amount of information generated by social media and demand for smarter user engagement;
- Lack of access to software tools that can assist you in making objective, data-driven business decisions;
- Limited experience in the whole omnichannel lifecycle experience, e.g. online connectivity, mobile-readiness, engagement on social media, location-based search and analytics, intelligent data gathering and efficient logistics;
- Rise in cybercrime and lack of experience, expertise and resource to combat threats;
- Real cost of employing one or more expensive data managers with the requisite skills in-house;
- Cost of integration tools such as ETL, data synchronization, and data transformation; and
- Trend towards insight-driven data management.
The expertise of an outsourced data management consulting service can also help you avoid costly data management mistakes.
“If you don’t have time to do it right, what makes you think you’ll have time to do it over?”
Not fully understanding the extent of the competition you face from startups these days and your traditional rivals is perhaps the most compelling reason to outsource to a professional data management consulting expert. CNBC’s list of 50 disruptors of 2016 is a list of companies implementing innovative, and often disruptive, data management strategies that are rocking the markets in which they operate. Some familiar names include Uber, Airbnb, MongoDB, Stripe, Twilio, Github, Pinterest and DropBox. Is your company on the list?