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

Bijon Islam
June 10, 2013
Adopting Data as Your Strategic Asset: the Newest Form of Competitive Edge?

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 a 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 assets? 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 an 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 shelves and based on the 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 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 have 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” maybe 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 to how data will transform businesses. Rather take action now to get on the reins of a market leader.

WRITTEN BY: Bijon Islam

Bijon is the co-founder and CEO of LightCastle Partners, an organization that focuses on creating data-driven opportunities for growth and impact for development partners, corporates, SMEs, and Startups. Over the last ten years, Bijon has led the company in engagements across 150+ businesses/development partners, 650+ SMEs/Startups, and 40+ accelerator programs in multiple industries including Technology, Agriculture, Health, Ed-tech, Energy, E-commerce, Logistics, and Manufacturing. Previously Bijon has worked with Citibank, N.A. and Citi Foundation and oversaw the execution of Bangladesh's first Interest Rate Swap, Equity Convertible Bonds, Largest IPO, Microfinance Securitization, and Block Equity Trades. Due to outstanding performance, Bijon received the CEO Excellence Awards for two years in the organization. He completed his BBA and MBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka.

For further clarifications, contact here: [email protected]

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