digital transformation agility big data
Big Data

Why Business Agility Requires a Big Data Mindset

Digital Transformation is the business imperative for success for nearly all organizations in competitive markets, and that transformation is driven by a need to:

  1. Respond quickly to business disruptions
  2. Identify new business opportunities
  3. Find ways to be more efficient

Let me explain:

1. Responding Quickly to Business Disruptions

Responding quickly to business disruptions has been behind a massive shift towards agile methodologies in manufacturing, in engineering and software development, and increasingly, in other parts of the business as well. But, what is the link between being agile and using data? It’s actually quite simple: To be agile, you need to run iterative experiments, collect data, and then iterate again based on what the data tells you about the last iteration. This is called “continuous improvement”.

2. Identifying New Business Opportunities

Identifying new business opportunities is even more directly about data. New business opportunities are often found through personalization, customer experience, or predicting future needs. The core technology to identify any of these opportunities come from analytics and more specifically, machine learning. These technologies depend on large datasets of time-based data.

3. Find Ways to Be More Efficient

The same technologies are employed to find ways to be more efficient. The only difference is the source of the data. For example, efficiencies are found through analyzing product, customer, purchase, and manufacturing data.

A Data-Driven Transformation

So, it shouldn’t be surprising that data and analytics are critical to digital transformation. A simple way to view the transformation is as follows:

  • Data allows us to ask new questions 
  • Analytics allow us to identify opportunities 
  • More data is the basis for competitive advantage
  • More data and agile methodologies enable us to find cost efficiencies

What it Means for Your Business

What is the take-away for every organization that is interested in digital transformation? Keep all of your data and invest heavily in data scientists who understand analytics.

Check out my recent article on the importance of data scientists in the successful organization of the future.

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Joan Wrabetz
Joan Wrabetz is the Vice President of Marketing and Product Management for the Data Center Systems business unit at Western Digital Corporation and leads the global marketing efforts for HGST-branded data center infrastructure products covering public and private clouds.Prior to joining Western Digital, Joan held senior executive positions at QualiSystems (CTO), EMC advanced technology division (VP and CTO), Aumni Data (founder and CEO), Tricord Systems (CEO), StorageTek (VP and GM), and Aggregate Computing (founder and CEO).She earned a Master’s of Business Administration degree from the University of California at Berkeley, a Master’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Yale University.Joan also holds patents in load balancing, distributed systems, and machine learning classifications and analytics. She has been an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas, and the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.