Sergio Hernández
President & CEO
CIAL Dun & Bradstreet
Expert Contributor

Data: An Engine of Success for Companies

By Sergio Hernández | Thu, 09/15/2022 - 13:00

Information is being created and modified every second because of human activity. Furthermore, it is gathered and classified to give it qualitative or quantitative value. Nevertheless, the important thing is to define how to use the power of data.

A piece of data on its own has no relevance. But, if it has a purpose, it will be reconstructed and its meaning will change to a whole new level, especially if it is combined with technology.

The purpose of data is to improve or change the services and outcomes that different agencies guarantee to the public, which makes them information-dependent. Data opens the door to study, analyze and learn about behaviors of acceptance or rejection.

As we live in a world that is becoming increasingly digitalized, data is beginning to spread on a disproportionate scale, creating the need to order it, process it and assign it a utility, which generally meets the requirements of 21st century companies.  

The business sector is the one that makes the best use of data. Surprisingly, this collection of data not only records our preferences but also our behaviors and the frequency of our consumption habits.

Data, Within and Out of Companies

By providing research on consumer patterns, data reveals the decision-making process with minimal room for bias. Because of this, its inclusion becomes mandatory when a company's area is intimately linked to others. This not only serves to guarantee results outside the company but also to mitigate possible crises and ensure the company’s continuous evolution.

Each company department provides key statistics. These statistics are used as the foundation for internal databases, based on inventories, purchase orders and even independent studies. This leads to marketing plans, logistical improvements, process identification or necessary adjustments in some work dynamics. Such close linkage between departments reveals the weaknesses, strengths, and opportunities surrounding the products or services from their origin.

Data has driven a revolution, as companies now capture US$190 billion based on the use of information. By 2022, they are expected to generate US$274 billion, numbers which help measure the relevance of data.

Data goes beyond the creation of a file. Technology and innovation, together with quality information, make it possible to define strategies, save time and money, understand trends and public perception, develop more accurate forecasts, and avoid cost overruns.

Data management also intervenes in the creation of business models or, alternatively, in the modification of existing models. In fact, 40 percent of European agencies established data management in 2019, and even put successful agencies under the magnifying glass of larger companies, based on their prestige, to join them with the aim of establishing profitable partnerships.

Monetizing data externally goes hand in hand with reputation, which is on the radar of senior management, who measure it through sales and financial performance. In addition, intangible assets, such as reputation, account for 90 percent of a company’s value.

A tool of great value in this context is artificial intelligence (AI). It has been applied in basic company tasks as well as in the measurement of interactions and the acquisition of tangible and intangible goods, based on the correct categorization and labeling of figures and concepts obtained from all available sources.

These large amounts of data provide a more accurate understanding of consumers' purchasing behavior, preferences, and real needs. More customized products are created to suit tastes and requirements, while at the same time guiding companies toward success and optimal profitability. Shipping, agriculture and finance have adopted AI in their predictive formats, identifying errors and anomalies.

Human resources is another department that can rely on data. Candidate information is sorted through automated processes, making it a valuable tool for searching, recruiting, and staffing. As a result, interviewing gets more attention, reducing the time to hire.

In this case, it is not only the conventional selection of applicants but the detection and retention of talent, two processes that enhance the integration of any company by incorporating the use of information into its procedures, thus avoiding staff turnover.

This technological trend is one of the best investments for the future because it mirrors the competitiveness inside and outside organizations.

On the other hand, intangible value data plays an important role for companies, especially in building trust among all stakeholders. In the creation of an article or service, the mass collection of information makes it possible to develop specific strategies that lead to the management of these with total transparency, until they reach their final recipient.

Building customer loyalty based on data automation relies on the tangible and intangible product quality, from the early stages (product prototypes) to the point of purchase. All this helps to increase the value and transcendence of companies.

Data Usage Overview

The business sector is experiencing growth. Thanks to the rise of the digital environment, a solid view of the data network is being created, along with the gathering of diverse information sources to analyze and plan projects already consolidated or yet to emerge.   

Proper decision-making, reduced delivery times, elaborated items (based on the public’s demands) and better supply chain management show that we have taken the first steps toward a data culture. This culture will allow us to reinforce and diversify the business world along with technological innovation in the coming years. 

Photo by:   Sergio Hernández