Presented by Microsoft

Business value: the proof is in the data

Modern businesses succeeding in a world of disruptive and continuous change have one thing in common: they are getting data right.

They are able to translate raw data into real business value by extracting insights that equip business leaders to make critical decisions tied to their business strategy.

A Harvard Business Review case study found that when integrated properly, data can accelerate most business strategies by improving the processes and empowering the people needed to execute them.

“Businesses that are getting data right fall into two categories: they respond to industry pressures forcing them to innovate, and they have leaders that understand data and are crafting a roadmap with data at the core of business strategy,” says Johannes Kanis, Cloud and Enterprise Business Group Lead – Microsoft South Africa.

Several industries in South Africa are proving this right: media, telecoms and insurance have responded to industry and economic pressures and have driven business growth by unlocking the power of insights through data.

“Key learnings from these organisations show that data has played a critical part in their ability to accelerate their digital transformation journeys.

This requires the right combination of people, modernised processes and underpinning technology to extract valuable insights that will drive their businesses forward,” says Kanis.

Businesses need to skill employees right across the organisation – not just IT. Leaders need to build a company culture that makes data insights the golden thread running through business strategy and business decisions.

Businesses most likely to reap business success and growth are those that combine a clearly defined data strategy with capabilities that enable the seamless and secure gathering of insights from their data.

This is underpinned by tools like Azure Synapse Analytics, which Microsoft has now made available, which help businesses collect, digest and gain real-time insights from vast amounts of data by bringing together capabilities such as data warehousing and big data into one solution.

Implementing solutions that use the cloud and analytics facilitates decision-making by leapfrogging legacy technology challenges and integrating data across all of an organisation’s systems.

“The trick for modern businesses to get their data right is to start now: establish underlying business and data needs, create a clear data strategy and culture around those, and invest in solutions that help achieve these goals,” says Kanis.

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Business value: the proof is in the data