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2 steps to creating a modern data platform

Dinand Tinholt VP of Insights and Data, Capgemini North America

Over the past year, the pandemic has influenced and transformed industries in unprecedented and unpredictable ways. Organizations have had to make decisions to survive in the short term while planning for long-term resiliency. In the consumer products and retail (CPR) industry, for example, an increase in e-commerce and digital interactions forced companies to quickly understand and translate data points about consumers into new insights on how to serve them and their changing demand trends.

Modernizing data platforms and effectively managing data are important for organizations that strive to be leaders in their industries, because it creates tangible competitive advantages. Without these foundational structures, your organization runs the risk of being left with outdated technologies and with datasets that have become irrelevant with respect to future business decisions.

The Capgemini Research Institute defines “data masters” as organizations with advanced data capabilities that span business functions and deliver action-oriented insights. A newly released Capgemini study that focused on CPR organizations found that only 16% of consumer products companies and 6% of retailers can be described as data masters. However, data masters outperform peers on financial parameters such as revenue generation and profitability—they are generally 22% more profitable.

It’s clear that most organizations, regardless of their industry, are struggling to fully activate their data to foster innovation. But with the right infrastructure in place and the proper governance, you can accelerate data activation throughout the business.

Here are two steps your business should take as it aspires to make data a competitive advantage.

Update and streamline tech and tools to create a robust data foundation

Many organizations have fragmented systems that are not yet ready to leverage the power of data across the business. Legacy data platforms offer basic data management and analytics but are unable to scale due to limited integration capabilities and a lack of visibility into other business units.

Over the years, data platforms have significantly evolved. To keep up with the capabilities data platforms now offer, you must first have a strong technology stack that you can use to create, collect, identify, process, and harvest datasets that span business functions.

Organizations that are data masters recognize the benefits offered by unified data platforms that leverage cloud capabilities and self-service tools. These cloud platforms allow flexibility, speed, security, and cost reduction—advantages that traditional legacy data platforms lack. Modern data platforms enable a deeper understanding of consumers and operations, faster implementation of insights, and strengthened trust in data-driven outcomes. With the ability to scale your organization’s infrastructure and tools, your company can begin to extract deeper business value from its data.

Promote a data-oriented culture

While modern platforms and a strong data foundation support data and analytics across markets and business units, they alone cannot meet business needs for fast, agile, connected, and intelligent decisions. The right infrastructure empowers teams with data at the points of highest impact, but what makes data a competitive advantage is an organizational culture that is focused on decisions and outcomes driven by data and insights.

With greater analytical capabilities, your business should be able to activate data to nurture employee skills and unlock value, truly making data reliance a habit. Aligning your organization’s data strategy with its business strategy to form a data-oriented culture within the organization is a key pillar to becoming a data master.

Data is your foundation

Leading companies treat data as a foundational element across their business and infuse it into their processes and strategies. A robust data strategy can lead to performance improvement, faster execution for business processes, and increased scale and agility.

Every industry needs modern data, since brand appeal, loyalty, and advantage are built from customer-data-driven insights. It is crucial now more than ever to invest in data modernization and cultivate a data culture that can activate data-driven competitive advantages for the future of your businesses.

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