Anne Buff and Lynda Partner Explore What it Means to be a Data-Driven Enterprise at Data Summit 2018

Two perspectives on becoming a data driven enterprise were discussed at Data Summit 2018 in presentations by Anne Buff, business solutions manager, SAS Best Practices, SAS Institute; and Lynda Partner, VP, Marketing & Analytics as a Service, Pythian.

The demand to become a data-driven business with a competitive edge in the digital economy is greater now than ever. As we embrace the idea that the analytics economy will power the digital economy by compounding the value of data and analytics assets, executives need to also understand where to focus their leadership efforts, said Buff. She looked at five key factors necessary to capitalize on the growing opportunities of the analytics economy and generate substantial business value, internal and external.

Digital transformation has been driving business, and organizations that embrace transformation will succeed, said Buff who cited numerous examples of failures in various markets, such as the problems of Blockbuster versus evolution Netflix in the home entertainment arena.

In the analytics economy, there are five imperatives for transformation, Buff said:

  1. Analytics—At the core of business transformation is data, noted Buff.
  2. Identification—Identify who you want to be and who your customers and prospects expect you to be.
  3. Consumption—Consumption patterns vary significantly. Understand the needs and expectations of all of your data consumers.
  4. Monetization—Monetizing data does not mean commoditizing or productizing data. It is specializing and differentiating information products, solutions, and services.
  5. Communication—Communication is the heartbeat of a successful analytics culture. Without it, nothing else survives.

Partner also explained that in order to harness the power of their data, businesses need a solid strategy that incorporates everything—from security to data governance to choosing the right technologies.

She advised that a data strategy must start with a business goal and people should keep asking “why” to understand what the data will be used for.

According to Partner:

  1. Data matters, and don’t wait to start gathering it. Without data, you are not going to get where you need to go.
  2. Governance also matters. Data expires and may not be what you think it is, or be appropriate for what you want to use it for.
  3. Culture eats strategy for breakfast, so it is important to engage people in the process of using data.
  4. Anyone who thinks they can escape the impact of AI, machine learning, and advanced analytics should get another job.
  5. No strategy exists without data security and privacy.
  6. Data is not the new oil or the new gold. It is the new uranium, which, like data, is rare and can be powerful but also very dangerous.
Data Summit 2019, presented by DBTA and Big Data Quarterly, is tentatively scheduled for May 21-22, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Boston with pre-conference workshops on May 20.

Many presentations from Data Summit 2018 have been made available for review at