How to start data-driven working in 5 steps

30 May 2022  |  by Henri van Avezaath

5 min read

It’s no secret that data-driven companies perform better and benefit from numerous advantages - they have lower costs, are able to respond better to changing market conditions and know what their customers’ needs and desires are. To keep up with the competition it is important to be data-driven – but where is best to start? With a good strategy behind it, it is not difficult to become a data-driven organisation. In this article, we explain the five steps it takes to develop your strategy.

1. Provide access to data for everyone

Access to data is often privileged to a limited group of people, they provide the organisation with the information they are willing to share. We could also call them data gatekeepers. Following a democratic approach, your employees should be able to decide for themselves what information they want to extract from the data and how they want to use it. By making your data available to everyone, the acceptance within the organisation to work with data will increase.

2. Create a single source of truth

Data is often isolated in silos, each department has its own systems and information needs. The potential, however, lies in combining the data from these different silos. Joining the data from your CRM system, ERP system, ESP system, marketing campaign systems and other systems in one place creates one Single Source of Truth (SSoT). This SSoT gives everybody access to the same consistent information. Ultimately, this will also contribute to better acceptance and use of data within your organisation.

3. Clean your data and combine it into new insights

Shouldn't cleaning up any data have been the first step here? To start working with data as it is, the flaws within your existing data structures come to light. End users of the data experience will know the pain of poor data quality themselves. There will be an urgency for them to correct these deficiencies and thus, to bring the data quality to a higher level.
In the SSoT, you can also combine all kinds of data elements into new, calculated data elements, such as a customer segment. In case the underlying data changes, these calculated variables are recalculated and are immediately available to everyone.

4. Reports and campaigns all from the same source

If all data comes from one source, it means that everyone is looking at the same truth and can make their decisions and actions based on that truth. This will also increase the transparency within the organisation. As KPIs within the reports come from your SSoT, they will give you a consistent picture of what is happening within your organisation. As everyone has direct access to this information, action can be taken more efficiently. The result - the company becomes more agile, removing the need for waiting on monthly reports and being able to action immediately when it is required.

5. Security and control

Making data available in a democratic way may sound straight forward, but as is often, the devil is in the detail. It is important that you supervise who has access to which data and what happens with it. Of course, it cannot be the case that everyone has unlimited access to all data. Not everybody needs to be able to export customer data or modify it and not all data is relevant for every function. In addition, you need to make sure to comply with GDPR. A roles and rights structure helps you to organise who has access to which data. In addition, a log of activities related to your data enables you to do an audit when necessary and not be faced with surprises.

The above step-by-step plan is the basic foundation of what Apteco software does and there is much more it can do for you. If you want to know more about how our software helps our customers to work in a data-driven way, please contact us to speak to one of our data experts.

Henri van Avezaath

Managing Director Apteco Benelux / Operations

Data is the common thread in Henri's career; at the intersection of technology and commerce. He is passionate about finding the best way to use data to enhance customer experience and improve business performance. Henri has become so enthusiastic about the Apteco software in his work that he has chosen to market it in the Benelux. In his spare time, Henri can often be found behind his camera either in the city, studio or nature. 

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