This is the fourth blog in a series that dives into how organizations become data-driven, with insights and strategy from Perficient’s Senior Data Strategist and Solutions Architect, Dr. Chuck Brooks. You can read the other blogs in the series via these links: first blog, second blog and, third blog.
A data-driven organization is one that effectively and consistently utilizes data in its decision-making process across all levels of the organization. It means driving change, innovating new products, delighting customers, and enhancing employee productivity through the power of data. There are several things a company must do to become data-driven including creating data lakes, creating a data catalog, and increasing knowledge workers’ data Intelligence Quotient (Data IQ).
Amit and Schoemaker suggest that for most organizations, performance and competitive advantage depend on the ability to hire and keep talented people because they are not easy to find, and they are expensive to replace. Without talented knowledge workers, organizations will not be able to obtain a competitive advantage with data. In most organizations, there are only a handful of people that truly have the skills to work with, analyze, and understand the data. Knowing how to manipulate an Excel spreadsheet does not qualify a person as a knowledge worker. In fact, knowledge workers who do not understand data and do not know how to use modern data analysis tools inhibit an organization’s ability to become data-driven. On a scale of 1- 10, the data IQ for knowledge workers in many organizations is only a 3. How can organizations possibly expect to become data-driven without people that understand data? Having people that can turn data into actionable insights is imperative.
Addressing this issue involves several actions. Your company will need to create clear expectations and qualifications for employees that have knowledge worker titles such as business analyst or IT analyst. These people must be able to work with tools like SQL, Python, Data Studio, Looker, and others. Your company also needs to expect more from the systems integrator resources that are contracted to work with data. Your company needs to ensure that the consultants that work with your organization have advanced data skills. In other words, your organization needs to increase your data IQ. This will not be a quick journey because to increase data IQ your knowledge workers will need to develop data expertise; they will need to continuously learn several new technologies and need to change the data culture that has taken many decades to develop. The changes that are necessary will be met with objection, as many people in knowledge worker positions have become comfortable with the knowledge they have and the tools that they know. Knowledge workers must be lifelong learners that are constantly improving their data IQ and data skills. Your company can not become data-driven without highly skilled knowledge workers that are able to work in advanced data management environments.
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Google’s Knowledge Worker Technology Stack
The data lake environment discussed in previous posts and the knowledge worker technology stack:
- Cloud SQL
- Cloud Storage
- Cloud Spanner
- Cloud BigTable & Cloud Datastore
- SQL, DataStudio, Python, and Looker
- Google Colab and Vertex AI
constitute an advanced data management platform. However, the best data management platform is worthless without knowledge workers with the skills to effectively use it. To leverage the volume and variety of data that exists in the Google data lake knowledge workers must be able to effectively use advanced data tools to transfer, ingest, wrangle, analyze and visualize data. Without the ability to use advanced data management, analysis, and visualization tools, knowledge workers cannot effectively synthesize data and apply knowledge to develop insights, trends, products, and services. Without the ability to effectively use an advanced data management environment data workers will not obtain a high level of productivity and creativity and they will not become the most valuable corporate assets of the 21 century that Peter Drucker envisioned them to be in his book The Landmarks of Tomorrow (1959).
Perficient’s Cloud Data Expertise
The world’s leading brands choose to partner with us because we are large enough to scale major cloud projects, yet nimble enough to provide focused expertise in specific areas of your business. Our cloud, data, and analytics team can assist with your entire data and analytics lifecycle, from data strategy to implementation. We will help you make sense of your data and show you how to use it to solve complex business problems. We’ll assess your current data and analytics issues and develop a strategy to guide you to your long-term goals. We will help you improve your data IQ.
Download the guide, Becoming a Data-Driven Organization With Google Cloud Platform, to learn more about Dr. Chuck’s GCP data strategy.