For businesses with plans to scale up, the current global crisis is a bit like a change in the weather on launch day – except instead of a shower, it’s a freak storm front that could last for months.
This isn’t the only similarity between launching a rocket and growing a business.
Getting a rocket out of Earth’s atmosphere and propelling a business to the next level both need an investment in technology, the funding to match it, a lengthy plan of action and teams of people to define purpose, calculate trajectory, and steer the ship.
They also both need the right fuel to get it there. For a space launch, it’s liquid hydrogen. For a business, it’s data.
Data helps you make better decisions, solve problems, respond quickly to opportunities (as well as challenges), understand your market and customers, and assess your performance. It flows through every part of your business, and on the path to growth it’s a vital component of any strategy.
But just like rocket fuel, the quality of that data is important – as are the technology and people that process it.
Even if your growth strategy has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, there are things you can continue to do with your data to keep your plans on track for the long term, and make sure you are ready to accelerate when the time is right. Now is the time addressing data quality, processes, management, vision and engagement across your business.
Fuel quality is crucial: you can’t launch a rocket with diesel, and you can’t grow a business with poor quality data.
Data inaccuracies, anomalies and omissions aren’t always obvious, but they pose significant risks to growth, from inaccurate growth projections, consumer data breaches, incorrect product details, as well as expensive budgeting and cost analysis mistakes.
Take this opportunity to do a full data quality review, and put data governance procedures into place to ensure that data quality standards are maintained. Refine your data quality.
Keeping teams engaged when exciting plans come to a halt can be difficult, but it’s important that everyone – especially key stakeholders – across the business continue to engage with data effectively and understand the importance of maintaining data processes, even if they are remote working through the crisis.
Focus on communicating your long-term vision for data – and the impact it will have on the business and individuals. If that vision changes due to the current climate, explain these changes and listen to feedback.
Make sure best practice procedures are understood, and put tools in place for people to communicate ideas and data priorities. Take the first step to data governance.
When the weather is right, make sure your launch can take off without a hitch. Think about the technology you have and the technology you need to achieve your goals with data – whether that’s MDM, PIM, virtualisation or something else.
The current crisis may have changed the goalposts, or spurred a need for new innovation with data. If so, ensure that you reappraise your data technology and what you can achieve with it – this could be a case of accessing new capabilities in your existing technology, or assessing the benefits of a new technology. Review your data technology needs.
If your plans to scale your business have been postponed, taking action with data can help you keep sight of your long-term goals and ensure future success. Comma can help you kickstart data projects that will enable your launch when the time is right. Wherever you are on your flightpath – whether you’re ready to launch or waiting for clearer weather – MDM offers a flexible, scalable approach to data management that delivers the insights and capabilities you need at every stage.