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Shifting Priorities in the Age of Digital Transformation

Creating the analytics-driven enterprise with a “strategic enterprise intelligence system”

By Dennison DeGregor, Vice President of Analytics, Trianz

In the Age of Digital Transformation, executives concerned with creating competitive advantage are laser-focused on the vitally important question:

“How can I use technology to beat the competition and avoid disruption?”

This deceptively simple question tends to open a can of worms when we attempt to answer it. On a daily basis, executives seek to simplify complex answers by deconstructing them into their component parts. By doing so, they hope to define and deploy said components on an operational level to create a better, stronger operating model.

This is the very foundation of the analytics-driven enterprise. Through this article, we hope to help executives deconstruct the complex questions they face regarding their investments in the technologies needed to secure a competitive advantage in the 21st century.

Shifting Priorities in the Age of Digital Transformation

Enlightened executives have shifted their priorities to compete in the digital age. To be a digital competitor today, the CEO and their team must leverage technology to:

  • Drive revenue productivity – drive increasing rates of revenue with continuously lower variable operating costs by accelerating marginal revenues faster than marginal costs. Wall Street rewards public companies for their organic revenue growth more than any other KPI.
  • Improve operational efficiencies – automate where automation makes sense, and drive continuous streamlining and improvement of key business processes that provide value at an increasingly lower cost.
  • Enhance the customer experience – create a brand experience that insulates the customer base from competitive attacks and mitigates the risk of being disrupted by either traditional competitors or new entrants.
  • Monetize data assets – gather, store, analyze, and move digitally-derived insights to where they are needed to drive operations, service, sales and marketing. Leveraging the company’s own unique data assets is the key to “cracking the code” and winning in the 21st

Enlightened executives have come to understand that next to their people, data is their most valuable corporate asset. The ability to leverage 21st century technologies to monetize data has resulted in an explosion of technologies of many different types designed to generate high ROI and sustainable competitive advantage from data assets residing both inside and outside of the enterprise.

Data analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) technologies are included in those high-ROI technologies. As evidence of the digital transformation explosion currently underway, in September of 2020 the cloud data warehousing firm Snowflake recorded the largest initial public offering in history. The company sold 28 million shares to raise nearly $3.4 billion. After trading over $300, Snowflake stock closed at $253.93, up 112% from its offering price. Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway fund is a major investor.

Cloud is but one component. The digital transformation market based on technology is segmented into cloud computing, AI, big data and analytics, mobility/social media, cybersecurity, IoT, and others. The global digital transformation market size is projected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5% from USD 469.8 billion in 2020 to USD 1009.8 billion by 2025. The AI segment is expected to grow at 30% + CAGR during the same period.

Gamechanger: The Rise of Big Data

The emergence of big data as a source of competitive advantage has changed everything. The hype rages on as the continuous, 24/7/365 onslaught of structured and unstructured data has triggered both unprecedented opportunities and major disappointment.

Cutting through the hype surrounding big data and making it actionable has been a major source of heartburn for business teams.  As a result, the technologies associated with making big data actionable—organizing it, analyzing it, and creating useable output that drives the four priorities outlined above—has become a priority for global enterprises across all sectors.

Managing and monetizing this “Big Data Tsunami” has become a top priority for CEOs around the globe.

The Rise of Business Intelligence (BI) Tools

Business Intelligence tools include key features such as data visualization, visual analytics, interactive dashboarding, and KPI scorecards with minimal IT support. They allow business users to utilize automated reporting and predictive analytics in a self-service mode to operate the business and build their “strategic enterprise intelligence system.”

Becoming an analytics-driven enterprise is essential in the Age of Digital Transformation, where start-ups are emerging in every sector, taking share from established brands, and inhibiting improvement in core KPIs.

The data analytics BI tools served up in visualization dashboards typically consist of four categories: 1) Diagnostic, 2) Descriptive, 3) Predictive, and 4) Prescriptive. Diagnostic and Descriptive analytics tell the company what happened and why, while Predictive and Prescriptive analytics tell the company what to do and when to do it.

Properly integrated, a strategic BI solution can let the business both look “in the rearview mirror” (diagnostic and descriptive reporting) and “through the windshield into the future” (predictive and prescriptive actions). This allows the company to optimize its approach to customers, products, and markets, as well as drive core KPIs to new levels.

BI tools, when integrated properly with other data and analytics assets and organized for the unique needs of the business, can create a strategic enterprise intelligence system. Their benefits include:

  1. Data consolidation across business unit, data and technology silos—a single version of the truth at the enterprise level
  2. Self-service analytics unlock data access so data can be monetized
  3. Elimination of manual tasks
  4. Reduced costs
  5. Real-time access and reporting

Today, the world’s most innovative companies are using complex combinations of these commercially available suites combined with their own proprietary data analytics to drive the performance of these suites to even higher levels.

To learn more about building a strategic enterprise intelligence system, and how digital champions are transforming their business models using data insights, check out The Benefits of Business Intelligence Suites for Executives on


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