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Posted on Monday, 29th March 2021 15:41
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How to achieve data-driven innovation

Successful innovation is customer-driven. Only by knowing your customers can you turn ideas into reality with confidence. But how can you achieve this?

To come full circle, the key to this approach is innovation. Data-driven innovation to be precise. In a nutshell this means using new technologies to obtain information which you may not have had access to using traditional methods and data sources. Innovating with data is great for advancement and gaining a competitive edge. So how do you achieve data-driven innovation?

Know your customers

Getting to know your customers is no new thing. In fact, it is so embedded into business practice that methods may have become outdated. Yes, you may know their gender, age, location, and household income; but these demographics alone are not giving you a full picture.

Profiling your customers, looking at how they are using your services, and even the goals of particular user personas will build a clear portrait of your customers. By innovating with data, you can fill these gaps in your knowledge and really get to know your customers. This in turn can aid your decision-making process and even guide organisational change. Data insights are becoming more advanced than ever thanks to AI and machine learning.

Take streaming service Netflix for example. Ever noticed the match percentage displayed on shows? That’s just one example of smart use of big data. Netflix delved deep into which actors, genres, and directors of shows their subscribers were watching, and formed complex data sets to see the correlations and create personas. The result: a personalised recommendations system to rival all others. Not only does this improve customer satisfaction, but it also allows Netflix to know their users, and therefore predict whether a show is going to be a hit with their audiences.

Utilise available data

Intelligent use of data is made easier by two things: having big data technology and insight at your fingertips, and being equipped with the skills to make the best use of it. You may already be holding your hands in the air and admitting you don’t have comprehensive data available to you, but you can assess how you are utilising the data you do have.

In order to harness your data’s potential your team must have a full skill set. They must be able to pull together, handle and analyse data. But also be well-versed in change management and digital transformation. Upskilling your whole team with professional development training will arm them with confidence in the decision-making process, managing risk, and recognising value. Taking advantage of the data available to you and making continual improvements go hand in hand. A competent, well-trained team will be able to spot gaps in the data too. Only at this level can you look to take the next steps, invest in tech, delve deeper into your customer profiling, and achieve data-driven innovation.

Innovate successfully

Gaining intel on your users can profit your organisation endlessly. Whilst new data sources and methods will vary from industry to industry, the benefits are alike. Using data innovations to inform decisions ensures your actions have purpose and are not made based on assumption or emotion. Data has the power to remove much of the risk involved with making change.

Data-driven innovation allows your organisation to know its customers like never before, and continually improve its services. But you must work from the ground up when shooting to achieve this. You must first build an infrastructure by providing staff with practical training for making changes. With a foundation of knowledge, you can work to highlight opportunities for improvement, and become well positioned to innovate successfully.