Amidst a complex labor market, supply chain woes, rising costs for business operations, and other global unrest, business leaders must determine how their organizations stand fast and emerge successfully. It’s no easy task, as evidenced by nearly 40% of CEOs who don’t think their companies will be economically viable in 10 years if they continue on their current path, according to a recent survey by PwC.
In order to not fall victim to volatile market forces and rapidly changing social and economic conditions, leaders must lean on their data and technology to support quicker decision-making. This allows companies to map out the best, worst, and middle-of-the-road scenarios and use real-time data to predict which way they’re trending – empowering leaders to drive the right strategy to stay agile and mitigate risk.
However, to accurately predict the most likely scenarios and outcomes, businesses need insights from across the organization based on data they can trust. Having accurate, consistent, and contextual data in real time is the crux of successful business planning during economic turbulence.
The Importance of an Agile Data Stack in Uncertain Times
A data stack, otherwise known as the technologies and tools used by a company to collect, process and store data, needs to be dynamic to stay effective in the face of rapidly changing market conditions. In other words, it needs to ensure that all required data is available where needed by breaking down and data silos and joining third-party data with the organization’s own data for greater context and insights. But to be truly successful, the accuracy and consistency of a company’s data stack must also be guaranteed, and its role in the business well understood.
I have mentioned the three critical questions leaders must ask themselves as they seek to leverage agile data stacks when navigating today’s ever-changing business landscape:
Is My Data Consistent and Easily Accessible?
To be effective, leaders need real-time visibility into their business performance. Data silos and slow delivery of data can be major barriers to decision-making, as stale and inconsistent data creates an inaccurate portrayal of business results.
To counter this, data pipelines must have robust data integration capabilities that bring together data from various silos, applications, databases, and even complex mainframe file systems.
Changes made to one dataset must also be reflected across other datasets immediately, so that critical decisions are never made without assured access to the complete picture.
Is My Data Proactively Maintained for Maximum Accuracy?
During times of economic uncertainty, every decision can feel like it’s “life or death” when it comes to a company’s future. With such a small margin for error, business leaders must feel confident in the decisions they’re making and, in turn, the data that is fueling them.
Knowing how data pipelines are functioning allows data analysts to identify and address problems before they can even reach decision-makers.
Data quality controls, including machine-learning models to recognize whether appropriate rules are applied to your data, are critical for ensuring accuracy – alongside flexible data governance tools that can adapt to different business scenarios and support innovation throughout the data ecosystem.
At the same time, data observability is integral to proactively identifying and fixing data anomalies before they disrupt downstream business applications.
Is My Data Revealing Hidden Context?
To ensure the most accurate insights for scenario planning, organizations are increasingly leveraging enrichment data from third parties throughout their data pipelines – unlocking greater context and revealing insights that might otherwise be invisible to key decision-makers. While the context required varies by organization, insights into the property attributes, points of interest, demographics, population movement, and even spatial relationships can greatly expand the understanding of potential scenarios and helps businesses to confidently develop a strategic path forward.
Data Integrity Is Key
The ability to stay agile and successful in today’s changing world ultimately relies on confident decision-making fueled by accurate, consistent, and contextual data. Leaders that choose to invest in robust and dynamic data integrity strategies will be the ones who can trust their data to help them weather the storm.