Adopting Data as Your Strategic Asset: the Newest Form of Competitive Edge?

    Bijon Islam
    Bijon Islam

    In today’s world of information warfare, companies have learned to treat their brands as assets in order to differentiate themselves. They invest in their brands to secure higher customer equity and stand out. Conversely, the idea that the immense amount of data more popularly known as “Big Data”, which is generated in course of daily business activities, can also result in competitive edge  is still novel.

    However, data in itself is of little use if this isn’t correctly leveraged in conduit with high speed analytics to make real time decisions. So how does one go about converting data into asset? The first step is to systemize the capture of the internal data that a business generates, starting from customer and product wise revenue or expenses to business performance indicators. Internal data in itself will allow the business to understand itself better but to take full advantage of the data wave you must also combine relevant external i.e. market information to your internal data matrix. For example, social media itself generates immense amount of information, this paired with your business data can result in optimized strategic decisions.
    Top firms around the world are already using such data analytics. Super retailers like Wal-Mart know what products to put on shelf and based on discussion going around in the external media they alter their shelf inventory. On one occasion they got feedback from internal sales data that a particular mini projector was selling very well. Simultaneously, they also saw positive reviews by the consumers on the social media. Immediately they started flagging the product and diverted their direct marketing channels to it. As a result the sale of the product went up by 800%, a huge payoff! But such decisions are only possible if you the analytics backbone and the mindset to seriously take data and make it an inherent part of the organization’s business model.
    In other words, the key to using data is having an integrated strategy; it’s all about using the data not just storing it, as most companies do. “Information is Power” may be a clichéd line but it is truer than ever before with the exponential growth of information technology. In today’s world if you want to become globally competitive, there is no “wait and see” approach on how data will transform businesses. Rather take action now to get on the reins of a market leader.
     

    Bijon Islam

    Bijon Islam is specialized in business model development, financial structuring and inclusive business design with 10+ years of experience in corporate/ investment banking (with Citibank, N.A.), private, development and public sector consulting. Co-founder and CEO of LightCastle, one of the country’s fastest growing consulting firm with 100+ projects in 3 years and social ventures like www.pujeebd.org and www.thepitchperfect.com