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Accelerating speed of insights through modern data governance

Dinand Tinholt

Leading enterprises are winning over new customers and creating growth at an accelerated pace by putting data and AI at the core of their business operations. Traditional retailers and brands are facing stiff competition from “born-digital” startups and digital-native counterparts who have successfully learned the art and science of applying a data-first strategy for their business decisions. They capitalized on the data-driven journey to exponentially increase their speed-to-insights to offer exceptional experience to empowered shoppers. These giants have unprecedented leverage over consumer behavioral insights throughout the consumer purchase journey by connecting online media exposure to offline purchase data.

The world of big data and IoT makes it easier to capture thousands of data points in real-time about customers and products, whether it is in-store, online, in the manufacturing plant or in the supply chain. The challenges lie in how you turn this big data into “smart data” to activate your business growth. It calls for superior and differentiated capabilities to harness this data abundance by seamlessly integrating and activating it across the business value chain. Traditional systems, processes, and tools to manage and govern data will no longer serve the purpose.

Chief Data Officers (CDO) are increasingly emphasizing to the C-suite the value of data governance in effective data-driven decision-making. The businesses that can truly transform into data-driven enterprises are those that will prosper in this digital era.

Why modernize data governance?

Winning retailers and consumer-product companies outperform their peers in providing incredible shopping experience through hyper-personalization, smart merchandising, and responsive supply chain by harnessing their data abundance. But too often, at most traditional retailers, the information is not readily accessible to key business stakeholders who need it. It’s often too fragmented across systems, not well organized and less trustworthy for making timely marketing, merchandising, or inventory decisions. The problem is further complicated as the volume, variety, velocity, and veracity of data grows rapidly across every aspect of the retail value chain, from inventory to multichannel marketing to sales across physical, digital, and mobile channels.

Thriving requires that data be managed as an enterprise asset to improve the corporate IQ. It must be treated like any other enterprise asset. The origin and outlets of the data need to be well understood so the insights can be activated through algorithms at the point of impact, i.e. at close proximity to the business.

Automation, AI, and self-service tools come to the rescue by making everyone in the organization data-savvy. The demand for data democratization and rapid time-to-insight is creating a need for modern agile data governance to ensure data is responsibly sourced, understood, trusted, and appropriately used. Data democratization will ensure enterprises truly embrace a data-driven culture to activate insights at the point of impact.

Speed of insight is extremely crucial for retailers and consumer-product companies to win in the marketplace. Agile analytics is a key enabler to deliver on speed of insights. It is highly iterative, exploratory, and discovery oriented, and it defies the premise of traditional bureaucratic data-management practices. The complexity of process-heavy traditional governance practices inhibits the autonomy that is fundamental for enabling data democratization and self-service capabilities. Therefore, modern agile governance should rather be people focused and empower them with the right data at the right time.

In part two of this blog, we will explore the benefits companies achieve by adopting a smart-data mantra.

Dinand Tinholt is Vice President with Capgemini’s Insights & Data Global Business Line responsible for the North American Consumer Products, Retail and Distribution Market. Dinand helps clients use data and analytics to improve their performance and innovate their products and services. Contact him to discuss your requirements at