Your mission to Mars: why your data needs to change with your business goals

Racing towards digital transformation? Here’s why your data needs to evolve as your business does – with data quality, data governance and data management.

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Apollo 11 had less computing power than the average iPhone.

Yes, the spacecraft that landed man on the moon had 100,000 times less processing power than the mobile phone in your pocket, and a lot less memory.

Does that mean that current space missions could run on the same limited computer power?

No. They could not. The mission has changed. The needs have changed. The expectations have changed. Space travel has evolved.

And so has your business. But is your data evolving with it?

As your business scales your goals and objectives shift. Take the last five months, for example. Circumstances have changed, and your business has needed to adapt to work with them, embracing digital transformation at a faster rate than ever before.

As a result, the demands on your data are likely to be vastly different from what they were back in January.

Yet, too many organisations fail to realise that as these demands change, their data - and the methods and systems that process it – need to change too. And they need to keep changing and evolving to keep up with those accelerating demands.

NASA plans to take people to Mars by 2025. Now, 32,768-bits of RAM and 0.043 MHz of processing power might have landed NASA on the moon in 1969, but it won’t cut it for a 21-month round trip to Mars and back.And your current data systems won’t cut it as you race your business towards digital transformation.

So, what do you need to do about it?

Like we mentioned above, this isn’t about an individual project that you can complete and move on. It’s a series of ongoing steps to make sure your data keeps pace with your business objectives, whether that’s a 360° customer view, a seamless e-commerce experience, or machine learning/AI capabilities.

Here are three steps to take right now to get your data ready for launch.

Data quality

What data do you need? What data don’t you need anymore? Take a long, hard look at the data you have. Is it good enough and relevant enough to fuel your business objectives?

If you’re looking to get a 360° customer view, for instance, and your customer data fields are inconsistent, inaccurate or incomplete, you just won’t be able to achieve it.

Data governance

How has the way you use your data changed? Do people understand these changes? Do they understand the critical role they each play in managing data as a valuable asset? Do they understand how and why the data they manage impacts other areas of your business? Data governance directs your business’ data practices. It keeps everyone on the same page and makes sure that data quality is maintained, even as your objectives evolve.

If your goal is to implement advanced analytics in 2022, but your teams don’t understand the importance of absolute accuracy when inputting and manipulating data, your analytics will be a wasted investment and its insights will be unreliable.

Data management

Is the technology you use enough to support your ambitions?

Product data stored in spreadsheets, for instance, might have been the perfect solution for your business two years ago.

But as you look to the next stage of your evolution – a more comprehensive and flexible ecommerce platform for example – you probably need PIM or MDM. Without it, managing your data is going to become a gruelling manual process, and will make it impossible to deliver the e-commerce experience you want.

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And finally, as a side note: the Apollo 11 guidance computer actually crashed and reported an error message 20 minutes before it was scheduled to land. So, it wasn’t exactly perfect for the job. If your data isn’t living up to its expectations now – regardless of plans to scale – you need to follow the same steps above to get it to where it needs to be before you can start embracing further data innovations.

Whatever your plans to scale your business, reliable data is a must. Comma can help you kickstart data projects that will make your business goals possible, embrace digital transformation and launch your business to the next stage of growth. Call us on 01926 911 820 or email russell.pointon@comma-group.com to get the conversation started.

Alternatively, you can take our MDM assessment first to see where you currently are on your data journey – and what you need to do next to get where you want to be.