Noteworthy Links: Using Data Creatively

Data-driven decisions  |  January 26th, 2017

Being data-driven means being able to use the best data available to make decisions, and using that data in creative ways to unlock its potential. In practice, that means breaking down silos within organizations, promoting communication, and being deliberate about the data you collect and use. This is important in all organizations, not just tech-related ones. Here are five articles that illustrate how modern organizations are tackling this challenge.

Hamilton dreams of data-driven government—The director of audit services in Hamilton, Ontario, has recognized the importance of using data to drive decisions. He urged his fellow officials to fully take advantage of available analytics. This story highlights the importance of a “change agent” within an organization—that person who will recognize the need for change, and push for it. This person can be found in any sector of an organization.

Workday unveils new services to expand customer reach—Workday offers educational services for businesses, allowing employees to advance their careers. They discuss their need to investigate new tools and new ways of talking to customers in order to stay relevant in the age of data. This forward-thinking, competitive attitude is an important component of building a data-driven culture.

Bluesmart is betting on data-driven retail—Bluesmart is a new company that sells smart suitcases. These suitcases are equipped with location trackers and sync to your smartphone (in theory, never lose your bag again). While it remains to be seen how Bluesmart’s bags truly perform out in the world, it’s an example of how data is seeping into even the most basic of travel products.

Data-driven Zika identification—This preview paper (not yet peer-reviewed) describes using data to determine potential virus vectors. As this threat grows increasingly global, groups are pulling out all the stops to find a solution, and fully understanding the virus is an important step in that. Tackling Zika with data-driven efforts could lead to truly life-changing outcomes.

Big data: the game changer—While “big data” usually conjures images of Silicon Valley startups, its principles can be applied to every business—including sports. In this article, the author describes the many areas in which data is having an impact in the sports world. This includes advertising, game day analysis, and even the very fans that support a franchise.

Being data-driven is not reserved for the tech organizations of the world. From local government to major health crises, there are opportunities for concrete impact across industries. If you want to make better use of data in your company, but aren’t sure where to start, a good next step is reading Building the Experimental Enterprise.