“Passionate” is probably not one of the first words that comes to your mind when thinking about your company’s data.
But it should be. Data is the backbone of your company – the key to scaling your organization and the foundation for automation and AI.
The End in Mind
To future-proof is to anticipate what is coming next by developing methods, strategies, and structures to withstand the stress of whatever happens down the road – whether it is a business boom or a global pandemic. This isn’t about developing a crystal ball; it’s about weathering unforeseen changes and having the tools to effectively adjust the course. This is no different when it comes business or data.
Why Should You Care?
You can always throw more and more people at a problem to make it “go away,” so why should you care if it’s done right? The issues that arise from this approach may not be immediately apparent, but they will come to light. If your data and data structure aren’t optimized, it can cause a cascading affect throughout your business. Customers could receive the wrong item, slower processes could lead to lower customer retention, internal reports may contain flawed data, and CEOs might create entire presentations based on faulty information (yes – we’ve seen that).
Sure, you can just put 100 people on a project and apply a band-aid, but that’s like taking a sweet tasting poison pill – making your investors happy in the short term, while killing your company in the long-run.
Here’s the gut check to see if your business is prepared for the future:
Is your data organized, structured, and scalable?
If your company has SOPs that are followed to ensure your data is accurate when added or accessed, then your answer to this question is probably yes. We say “probably” because it’s impossible to say for sure without getting too technical.
We’ve seen companies spend months on a project that should have only taken a couple weeks due to poorly organized and inadequately structured data. As we’ve helped companies scale, we’ve partnered with them to completely rewrite, restructure, and reorganize data due to its overall unreliability. There are many technologies you can use to help clean and structure your data, as well as create data models. Cleaning and properly structuring your data are foundational steps in making your organization bulletproof.
Can your data pipeline handle an increase in the volume and velocity of data ingestion?
A data pipeline is essentially an efficient, automated process flow of data from one place to the next. The term “data pipeline” encompasses ETL (Extract, Transform, Load – though the data doesn’t always need to be transformed). Your data pipeline is focused on your company’s growth and understanding if you are even prepared for that growth. If you saw a significant increase in sales overnight and feel comfortable that your company could handle it, or if you could add new applications to feed into your data warehouse without issue, your answer is likely yes. With growth comes higher volumes of information flowing through your systems, often at an even faster rate, such as an increase in sales or the addition of applications. We have seen companies struggle to store data from a new source as simple as an iOS application. The solution varies depending on your data warehouse structure, but it should be thought through to prevent panic when your company needs to ingest more data.
Is it easy to access clean data for reporting, real-time analyzation, automation, or machine learning?
If you have a tool like Power BI or Looker, your answer to this question is likely yes. Data is empowering and should be easily accessible for your entire team. If your company wants to automate tasks or implement machine learning or AI, your data needs to be reliable and accessible. If your employees can’t get an answer to a simple business question within five minutes, then your data, systems, and/or reporting aren’t up to snuff.
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, AMEND is here to help.
We believe companies who can answer “yes” to these questions will reduce headaches, free up data and reporting resources, become more efficient and effective, and are ultimately set up for success regardless of the economic climate.
Our team of experts can help your business reach its full potential, no matter where you’re at today.