Is Your Company Ready for a Data Transformation?
March 13, 2018

Is Your Company Ready for a Data Transformation?

by Brian de Haaff

“Today’s customers want more.” You have been reading this a lot lately — especially from me. Customers want a personalized experience and want it delivered fast. Many companies know that change is needed to meet those expectations and demands. But they do not know what that change should look like. This is where data can help.

Data, digital, and solutions are three different strategies that can be used independently or together for an enterprise transformation. Your company may not need to invest in all three due to existing competencies. But excellence in all three is definitely necessary to deliver a Complete Product Experience (CPE). And if your company is weak with data — either collecting or analyzing it? That is a problem.

So, think about it. How well does your organization collect, analyze, and act upon data? Are you ready for a transformation in this area?

When you take on a data transformation, you are investing in infrastructure and a mindset — using data to deliver better experiences to customers. The transformation improves your offerings and reveals deep insights into customer behaviors, which ultimately improves what you provide. The cycle repeats.

For most organizations, a data transformation also means fundamentally changing the culture to replace opinion and gut instinct with data-backed intelligence. Of course, intelligence is not the data itself. Intelligence refers to the insights you uncover with analysis.

This intelligence then becomes a key input to strategic planning and day-to-day operations. Talk is easy. Data is plentiful. But deep understanding and action with conviction are not. One recent survey showed that 99 percent of large corporations are trying to improve their use of data — only about one-third have succeeded.

Our team at Aha! frequently works with customers who have two hurdles in the way: systems and thinking. In most cases, products were not built with data collection in mind. And if they were, the data being collected is not optimized to answer key questions. And shifting an organizational mindset to a data-driven culture can be equally challenging.

For example, we have been working closely with a team at a multinational aerospace and defense company. Company leaders there were looking to incorporate data-driven thinking and services into existing hardware solutions. Sure, leaders saw growth opportunities. But many employees were uneasy about the shift. Implementing Aha! gave them the strategic planning framework and roadmap views needed to build the systems that were necessary to collect data at scale.

Of course, a lot of company leaders talk about transforming the way they use data — but it is important for the entire organization to understand why it is needed.

What is the value of seeking intelligent data aggregation and smart reporting? To answer that, you need to clearly define what questions you are trying to answer. Do this before you begin defining what is needed for the transformation.

Here are a few questions that are likely relevant to your company and product. Data can help answer these questions:

  • How do customers really find us?

  • Who are our most valuable customers?

  • What are the product usage characteristics of our most valuable customers?

  • How well does our product perform?

  • What do customers think of our products?

  • What causes customers to stop using our products?

These are fundamental questions. Yes, it might require a large investment in new data — in addition to broadening the skillset of the team — to actually answer them. And it will take time.

But better data collection and analysis is no longer optional. You need a data-driven culture to deliver and grow products customers love.

How does your organization use data to better understand your customer?

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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