Step one to becoming a data-driven organization: implement a modern data architecture

data lake server room

June 30, 2020

In the first in a series of blogs focusing on the six steps organizations should take to become data-driven, we will look at how a modern data architecture can increase enterprise resilience and flexibility.

First, we should define what we mean by a data-driven organization. A data-driven organization is an enterprise where every person is aligned towards improving a consistent set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that are recognized as important to the organization. Employees at all levels of the organization interact with data and take action to improve these KPIs.

Analysts at Forrester estimate that insights-driven organizations are growing at an average of more than 30% annually and are on track to earn $1.8 trillion by 2021

The first step on the road to being data-driven is the creation of a modern data architecture for your organization. To be data-driven, business users need immediate access to data and analytics so that they can use these to drive their decision making. According to this Forbes article, “Just a 10% increase in data accessibility will result in more than $65 million additional net income for a typical Fortune 1000 company.” Without this access, decisions tend to be made by gut feeling or experience, none of which are reliable in today’s fast-moving operating environments.

However, it is not enough to provide this on a one-off basis. A modern data architecture enables an organization to make this a reality and then maintain this state because it is agile and flexible enough to adapt to rapidly changing business requirements. Cumbersome manual data management processes are no longer sufficient to meet the needs of modern organizations. Business users need immediate access to relevant insights, and to do that, data infrastructure must be able to evolve rapidly.

Signs that your organization does not have a modern data architecture are the inability to handle multiple data sources and analytics use cases, the inability to scale data volumes and users, and the need for specialized resources to support complex data pipelines.

Organizations like Miller Industries have transformed their business by implementing a modern data architecture with Infor OS and Infor Birst. Miller Industries have seen an 80% reduction in reporting requests and business questions processed manually. As William G. Miller, President and co-CEO of Miller Industries states, “Every morning, we have the latest information available, and it’s consistent and accurate for all users from the CEO down—designed to allow information to be viewed as it relates to their area of responsibility. With Infor Birst, we can access and analyze a long history of information for answers we need for any business question in an instant, through any device.”

Read about the eight principles of a modern data architecture in our best practice guide on the six steps to becoming a data-driven organization and discover how you can transform your business by ensuring every person who makes decisions has access to the data they need when they need it.

In our next blog on the topic of becoming a data-driven organization, we look at the importance of using automation to integrate data.

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