The current situation
For many businesses the reality is that data has been collected and stored in multiple disparate systems over the years making it difficult for organisations to understand what data they hold, which bits are important and how to access it.
More often than not, manual data processing is used to sort through information. This not only creates a culture of uncertainly around data accuracy, but also makes data analysis particularly challenging. This is especially true in times of crisis, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Therefore, being able to understand what data your organisation holds and how to modernise processes and systems in order to keep a competitive edge in the market is critical.
Eliminating fear, uncertainty and doubt around data
Many organisations don’t have the expertise or the resources to spare to even begin to unlock the value of their data. By looking towards flexible third-party software solutions providers who can help your organisation to understand how data collection systems are used, by who and for what purpose, can help to eliminate fear, uncertainly and doubt (FUD) around data.
Data Maturity assessments can be carried out over four key areas and depending on where your company sits in these areas, short, medium or long-term solutions can be recommended as well as the level of support needed to implement them.
Four steps to becoming data mature
ACCESS– Being able to access your data may sound like an obvious step but it is the first and most fundamental to making your data maturity journey a successful one. From understanding where and how your data is stored, it’s accuracy and how it needs to align to your business objectives will allow you to identify key projects that will cement strong foundations.
ANALYSE- When easy access to accurate data is established you will be in a position to start looking at how best to analyse your data. It may be moving to usingsmart visuals or, it could be focusing on
unlocking new value in your data to gain competitive advantage and an improved customer experience.
LEARN- As day to day analysis of your data becomes business as usual and further value has been realised the potential for using machine learning or data science techniques to advance your insights can be considered. A project of this type relies on both the accuracy of data and the confidence that potential bias has been identified and excluded. Ultimately this provides access to advanced levels of trends and insights.
PREDICT- This focuses on the ability to predict outcomes from your systems and data. It is often the outcome of successful explorations in the learn phase and sees those models being implemented to live systems. Ultimately, this is the production version of successful projects identified during the learn stage.
The future is flexible
Understanding where your organisation is on the data maturity scale is key. Third-party software providers will look at the level of support that is required to help you access better value from the data you hold and utilise it effectively.
Moving to a flexible resourcing model also can allow organisations to both increase their team size and add a more diverse set of skills, experience and knowledge. It also means that businesses need not worry about staff retention or having to recruit directly.
Having access to these additional resources ensures that systems architecture, best practices and knowledge are adopted. A flexible resourcing model also provides organisations with a set number of days per week to use when they need support on key projects.
Through providing consultancy and development, third-party software solutions providers become an integral part of the IT team. System developments, such as modernising the existing code from .NET to MVC which sees the systems becomes easier to maintain with clearer code that also opens the door to explore newer technologies to further enhance the system in the future.
By using flexible resourcing services, software providers can offer businesses a personalised service which can be tailored to their specific needs. Not only does a more personalised solution lead to finding the best people for the job, but it also leads to more cost and time effective solutions, where businesses are only paying for what they need, and exactly when they need it.
Furthermore, in-house training from software solutions providers ensures that skills development is aligned to the client base both for current work but also for the future. This highly client-centric approach to the flexible resourcing and development of staff results in hugely successful long-term partnerships with clients.
The flexible resourcing model allows organisations to cope with the changing dynamics of the business world, through an in-depth understanding of the data you hold and how to utilise it effectively.
Organisations who leverage data and services using flexible resourcing look to gain the benefits and agility vital for surviving in an competitive, ever-evolving market. Resource models are also exploring new and better means of offering skilled manpower to meet a company’s staffing needs and concerns allowing them to enjoy potential cost savings, while accessing a wider network of knowledge and skills to keep businesses stable at this time.
About the Autthor
Lindsay Lucas is Managing Director at Software Solved. Software Solved specialise in award-winning data and software solutions for a range of clients across the Insurance, retail and logistics sectors.