Any journey requires a few things before getting started. Wandering through the forest can be a very pleasant experience, but if you don’t plan ahead and bring your compass and map, what happens if you get lost? (I know, you probably brought your smart phone, which has GPS. But then you find there is no signal, way out here in the forest…). Before starting an adventure like this, you need to prepare and make sure you are ready for any obstacles or unknowns that could occur.

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When you think about the different ways that data gets used in your company, what comes to mind?

You surely have some executive dashboards, and some quarterly reports. There might be a reporting portal containing everything that IT created for anyone within the past decade.

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Customer segmentation is defined as “the process of dividing customers into groups based on common characteristics so companies can market to each group effectively and appropriately.” By using the correct attributes to define the customer segment, it allows companies to identify the right customers for targeted and relevant offers. Those who successfully define and maintain customer segmentation can derive a competitive advantage from the implementation by improving customer experience.

However, there are potential pitfalls that can reduce the effectiveness of a customer segmentation initiative. This article will identify the pitfalls and propose solutions in order to improve the chances of a beneficial customer segmentation project.

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With the maturing and ever increasing acceptance of the cloud across multiple industries and the data gravity gradually moving to the cloud, i.e. more data being generated in the cloud, we are seeing some interesting cloud-based data and analytics platforms offering unique capabilities. Some of these platforms could be disruptive to the established market leaders with their innovative thinking and ground up design that is “born in the cloud and for the cloud.”

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Data democratization is the ability of an organization to provide information to end users in an easy and effective way. The goal is to provide self-service of information to end users with minimal IT support. There are many things that can go wrong when rolling out data democratization projects. The purpose of this article is to identify potential issues and provide guidance on how to avoid them in the democratization process.

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When asked “What’s your data strategy?” do you reply “We’re getting Hadoop…” or “We just hired a data scientist…” or “If we only had a data lake, all our problems would be solved…”? Plotting a good data strategy requires more than buying a tool, hiring a resource, or adding a component to your architecture. You need something to describe:

  • the goals you are trying to achieve,
  • the stakeholders you are trying to serve, and
  • the internal capabilities required to satisfy those stakeholders and achieve those goals

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Is your company suffering from a case of “Bad Data”? Everyone is following the process and doing their job correctly but you still face issues with accurate reporting, operational errors, audit anxiety about your data, etc. Good data should be a given, right?

Well it’s not that easy. In today’s business environment, rapid growth, organizational change, and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are very difficult to absorb within a fragmented data ecosystem. Multiple disparate IT systems, siloed databases, and deficient master data often result in data which is fragmented, duplicated and out of date.
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Any discussion of Master Data Management automatically includes a discussion of Data Governance. The two go hand in hand. Successful MDM implementations require understanding data ownership, stewardship, and security, as well as determining business rules to be applied to the data. Specific business rules usually include rules for matching and consolidating data items as well as data quality checks. Read more

This is part five in our five part series on the essential capabilities of the competitive data-driven enterprise.

Over the last 20 years of doing business we have seen a number of different analytical data storage and query concepts fall in and out of favor. Throughout this time, a wave of digital transformation in business has dramatically increased the volume of collected data. Machine learning and other probabilistic methods benefit greatly from the law of large numbers so if by now it wasn’t already clear, all that talk about “big data” has really been about the analytics that it enables. As a result, today’s knowledge workers are predisposed to data hoarding, preferring to save everything including the data for which there are no known use cases, since its future value to the organization may still yet be discovered. Read more

This is part four in our five part series on the essential capabilities of the competitive data-driven enterprise.

5 capabilities_master data management

Businesses have been deploying enterprise data governance (defining what the data should be) and master data management (ensuring the data is as defined) programs for decades. Even if your company doesn’t have a formal master data management program by name, chances are good that they are doing some form of master data management in your data warehouse, CRM or ERP systems. As the trend towards decentralized data analysis continues to progress we see a few forces in play that make the case for incorporating a master data management capability into your organizational roadmap: Read more