Why now is the time to invest in data

Manish Sood is CTO, Founder and Chairman relationa cloud-native SaaS modern master data management (MDM) platform.

Data has become every company’s most valuable asset, a reality that is staggering during the pandemic. If an organization isn’t already “digital first,” the benefits of doing so will quickly become apparent. Customers, suppliers, employees and suppliers expect a seamless “Amazon-like” experience in nearly every interaction. However, as companies continue to play catch-up in the digital space, recent market challenges and slowing growth prospects are adding more complexity to these efforts.

That’s why now is the perfect time to invest in enterprise data. In these challenging times, there are two key reasons to invest in data – to improve organizational efficiency and manage risk through enhanced data protection and compliance.

Improve efficiency and reduce costs with unified, trusted data

The key to any successful digital transformation is generating high-quality, trusted information—turning your data into your most valuable asset. High-quality, trusted information about your customers, products, suppliers and assets is an essential ingredient to successfully transforming operations and driving business value.On the other hand, poor data quality can cost an organization on average $12.9 million per year.

Treating data as a strategic asset can alleviate this pain. Cloud-native master data management solves this problem by collecting data from hundreds of internal and third-party sources and providing operational systems with unified, real-time, high-quality data. With an API-first approach, every business application, digital business process, automation pipeline, analytics, and data science solution can be provided with high-quality, trusted data without replacing legacy systems, potentially saving money. With adaptable and intelligent processes, employee productivity can increase as fewer manual tasks are typically required. Decision quality and business speed increase as higher quality data is fed into analytical systems, resulting in better, faster decisions. It also reduces the need for manual review of recommendations before taking action, lowers costs (digital self-service is cheaper than a call center), and increases the speed of M&A integration as it is easier to connect systems through trusted data between them .

I have worked closely with many large organizations on modern MDM solutions and see how they can increase efficiency and reduce IT spending. For example, one of our IT customers saved $12 million over five years by replacing legacy MDM systems with a modern MDM solution. A multinational life sciences customer saved more than $3.6 million in infrastructure costs. The business impact or benefit of such data is a greater return on investment in growth, efficiency and compliance functions.

Addressing data security and privacy regulations

As more and more organizations move to the cloud, data security must be as good or better than on-premises-based systems—whether it resides on a public, private or hybrid cloud. In today’s digital age, data breaches remain a stark reality.In fact, data breaches are 2021a year-on-year increase of 68%.

Organizations also need to integrate support for growing and increasingly stringent global compliance regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). New privacy laws, the demise of third-party cookies, and the new “opt-out” feature on Apple’s iOS have all created significant challenges for companies that use digital footprints for marketing and other customer activities.

Modern MDM solutions can help organizations manage these risks by creating a common ID.

The fragmented and siloed nature of customer data makes it difficult to get a complete picture of customer relationships. There are many examples of potential fraud that sometimes go undetected. For example, a health care company might reimburse a claim for a dead person. Modern MDM technology can identify anomalies in customer data to detect and prevent fraud. Having the “single source of truth” provided by modern MDM helps uncover patterns of fraud, while also increasing visibility into potential threats through cross-referencing and continuous learning.

Modern MDM technology also simplifies privacy compliance with built-in support for GDPR and CCPA and collaborative workflows for consent changes across all systems. Compliance and privacy are at the forefront of customer engagement to maintain consumer trust and avoid fines. For example, inaccurate information could lead drug companies to unknowingly continue to provide drug samples to a doctor’s office even if the doctor no longer holds a valid state license.

You can build customer loyalty by respecting and engaging based on their consent, while ensuring legal compliance and delivering a personalized experience in a way that customers accept. Modern MDM technologies also help improve security processes by capturing and maintaining privacy and consent preferences in a single customer profile across all engagement channels.

Make high-quality, trusted data the hero of your digital transformation

Companies that view data as a corporate asset are more likely to benefit from data in strategic decisions, industry experts say Doug Laney. So how does a company create a culture where data literacy is ingrained in its DNA and the organization embraces data-driven decision making? Companies can start in three ways:

• culture: Ensuring that data policies are well understood, improving data literacy, and encouraging employees to find ways to use data in decision-making help build a strong data culture.

• Strategy: Having an internal advocate such as a chief data officer helps incorporate data into company strategy, ultimately driving the company’s direction and supporting new policies, products, and customer engagement models.

• Innovation: Data provides businesses with a view of what is working, how it works, and the bottom line impact of decisions. A combined approach that includes internal and external data sources should drive all improvements the organization makes.

With a connected, accurate, and real-time view, your organization can effectively drive the business processes needed to implement transformational initiatives, such as delivering omnichannel experiences, launching new products and services, or seamlessly adhering to data privacy preferences. A sound data foundation is critical to enabling transformational business plans. Now is the time to invest in data.

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