In unpredictable times, a data strategy is key

A worldwide survey of 357 business executives, conducted by MIT Technology Review Insights and Amazon Web Services, shows that organizations of all sizes and across all industries understand how crucial it is to be data-driven. More importantly, they have learned that a successful and supportive data strategy cannot be left to chance.

The value of data is front and center

The past year and a half was a disruptive one for businesses in all industries, due in large part to the pandemic. Initial shutdowns in March 2020 meant that many companies had to do their best to organize a completely remote workforce while keeping up with wild shifts in consumer behavior and market demand.

The good news is that even during an unprecedented crisis, a large number of organizations continued to grow. In fact, nearly half of those surveyed (45%) characterize their companies as “prosperous” and say they have driven business growth over the past 18 months.

But, not surprisingly, after such a challenging period, many other organizations could do little more than stand their ground or try to hang on: the remaining 55% of respondents managed to keep up their efforts, conducting their usual level of business, or it just didn’t. t turn off.

However, whether organizations thrive, maintain, or simply survive, there is no question that the power of data is a priority for all businesses seeking to succeed. In today’s digital world, companies collect or have access to large amounts of data. Thanks to technologies like cloud computing, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI), they can also store, process, analyze, and put this treasure trove of data to use, in a meaningful way, to drive business results.

As a result, there are many possibilities for obtaining business value from large data sets. According to the survey, the most common value companies hope to leverage is smarter decision making (79%). They also want to understand their customers and industry trends more deeply (61%), provide better services and products (42%), and implement more efficient internal operations (33%).

Businesses also learned valuable lessons about the importance of data as they struggled to stay competitive during the pandemic. About four in 10 respondents, for example, report that they need to search for more data sources, including demographic, geospatial and competitive information. More than a third (37%) are evaluating machine learning and analytics, essential technologies for extracting critical insights from their data. And 34% need help to act on the vast amount of data they collect and process.

For Thermo Fisher Scientific, a U.S. biotech company with more than 80,000 employees in 50 countries, thriving in today’s competitive life sciences landscape is about helping clients accelerate research, solve complex analytical challenges , improve patient diagnoses and increase laboratory productivity. Through a scalable and secure platform where researchers and scientists can collaborate, conduct research, and improve medical treatments, “we help our clients make the world healthier, cleaner and safer,” says Mikael Graindorge, manager. Senior Business Analysis and Knowledge at Thermo Fisher. The company wants to provide the best service and products, as well as the best ways for customers to efficiently complete their scientific research, he explains. “But to do that, we need more and more data, which means more complexity, so we need to expand our investment in data science to continually innovate for our customers.”

Data strategy is essential

These days, becoming data-driven is within the grasp of every organization, says Ishit Vachhrajani, a business strategist at cloud provider Amazon Web Services. But it doesn’t happen overnight – having a solid data strategy, he says, is critical to supporting better decision making and driving growth.

“Data strategy is a board game in today’s world,” says Vachhrajani. “You can see the distance between companies that are moving fast and driving change on the path to a successful data strategy compared to companies that are lagging behind.”

Download the full report.

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