How To Use Data To Outsmart Your Competitors - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Data Management // Big Data Analytics
News
7/2/2015
11:06 AM
Lisa Morgan
Lisa Morgan
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail

How To Use Data To Outsmart Your Competitors

The pressure's on to use data to outsmart your competitors. Here are six ways companies can use data to imagine and even re-imagine what's possible.
3 of 7

Share The Data 
Data has traditionally been IT's responsibility. And historically, many companies have limited the use of business intelligence (BI) and big data analytics to certain groups of people. Limiting the scope of data access limits the potential of how the data might be used. Moreover, the failure to involve certain parties -- such as the business users who might use an application, solution, or dashboard -- can cause organizations to invest in solutions or to embark on initiatives that are not as effective as they could be. Of course, security and privacy are valid concerns that need to be addressed and managed. However, it is easy to use security and privacy as an excuse to cling to old habits.

'[E]nterprises need to loosen up a bit,' said Matthias Steinbauer, a computer scientist and researcher at Johannes Kepler University, in an interview. 'Most of the startups I talk to have a policy [that allows] almost everybody to access data lakes. However, one needs to consider that many startups focus on IT, software, or apps, which means that a large portion of their staff is [comprised of] computer scientists who have a good understanding of technology. In other enterprises, it will be far more difficult for domain users to understand big data.'

Usually, when people think about sharing data across the enterprise, they think in terms of dashboards and data visualizations. Shutterstock, a stock photography, video, and music marketplace, started an internal email campaign called 'The Daily Dose,' which tells employees about the data that's available and what's being done with it.

'We wanted the company to think in terms of data -- not just the data analysts and data scientists, we wanted developers, user experience, the sales team to be exposed to the data and data insights,' said Sepehr Sarmadi, a data scientist at Shutterstock, in an interview. 'We have intellectually challenging questions, and we wanted everyone to think about those problems. You never know who in the company is going to come up with the most clever idea. We didn't want to create wiki pages no one reads.'

To be effective, services such as Shutterstock need to serve up relevant content instantly. In the past, if a search yielded no results, the landing page said exactly that. As a result of The Daily Dose, the landing page now displays an invitation to explore categorized collections that are displayed beneath the message. Meanwhile, the marketing department identified content gaps in which a critical mass of images were not yet available for a particular location, for example. To help fill the gaps, Shutterstock launched a new program that features one contributor from a different country each week.

(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

Share The Data

Data has traditionally been IT's responsibility. And historically, many companies have limited the use of business intelligence (BI) and big data analytics to certain groups of people. Limiting the scope of data access limits the potential of how the data might be used. Moreover, the failure to involve certain parties -- such as the business users who might use an application, solution, or dashboard -- can cause organizations to invest in solutions or to embark on initiatives that are not as effective as they could be. Of course, security and privacy are valid concerns that need to be addressed and managed. However, it is easy to use security and privacy as an excuse to cling to old habits.

"[E]nterprises need to loosen up a bit," said Matthias Steinbauer, a computer scientist and researcher at Johannes Kepler University, in an interview. "Most of the startups I talk to have a policy [that allows] almost everybody to access data lakes. However, one needs to consider that many startups focus on IT, software, or apps, which means that a large portion of their staff is [comprised of] computer scientists who have a good understanding of technology. In other enterprises, it will be far more difficult for domain users to understand big data."

Usually, when people think about sharing data across the enterprise, they think in terms of dashboards and data visualizations. Shutterstock, a stock photography, video, and music marketplace, started an internal email campaign called "The Daily Dose," which tells employees about the data that's available and what's being done with it.

"We wanted the company to think in terms of data -- not just the data analysts and data scientists, we wanted developers, user experience, the sales team to be exposed to the data and data insights," said Sepehr Sarmadi, a data scientist at Shutterstock, in an interview. "We have intellectually challenging questions, and we wanted everyone to think about those problems. You never know who in the company is going to come up with the most clever idea. We didn't want to create wiki pages no one reads."

To be effective, services such as Shutterstock need to serve up relevant content instantly. In the past, if a search yielded no results, the landing page said exactly that. As a result of The Daily Dose, the landing page now displays an invitation to explore categorized collections that are displayed beneath the message. Meanwhile, the marketing department identified content gaps in which a critical mass of images were not yet available for a particular location, for example. To help fill the gaps, Shutterstock launched a new program that features one contributor from a different country each week.

(Image: Geralt via Pixabay)

3 of 7
Comment  | 
Print  | 
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

News
Pandemic Responses Make Room for More Data Opportunities
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/4/2021
Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
News
Transformation, Disruption, and Gender Diversity in Tech
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/6/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll