Organisations opt to manage their data for many reasons, but a common goal is to turn data into insights and action. As the primary competitive advantage, data management should deliver an increase in the understanding of the forces shaping markets and businesses. This knowledge will help companies outsmart and out deliver competitors. From an operational point of view, data management reduces costs and increases operational efficiency and revenue. Effective data management also helps to improve operational efficiency by reducing errors while it ensuring trusted data is available to support business decision making. Data management, as a result, enables employees to report faster, plan better, make informed decisions, and deliver data-rich experiences to customers.
The most significant change due to Covid-19 has been the requirement of a mobile workforce. This has become fundamental to doing business in these uncertain times. Luckily, according to Sharpen, employees are more engaged and productive when working from home. But this would be the case assuming that the right data management systems have been implemented by the organisation. Studies estimate that for organisations without data management systems in place, 40% of office workers cannot find the data they need to do their jobs, despite wasting hours a week looking. With the uptake of new decentralised business models’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the statistic is bound to increase unless foundational data management capabilities such as data governance and data catalogues are in place and accessible to remote knowledge workers.
Prioritising data management = enhanced CX and operational efficiency
Gartner research tells us that service leaders who prioritise both customers’ and employee’ experience equally stand to gain significant benefits. When they do, reps are 19% more productive and customer satisfaction increases by 11%. Companies should include employee enabling data management systems as part of their digital transformation strategies to support internal productivity.
Dealing with PoPIA and the remote workforce
At the same time, businesses must comply with the increased requirements of the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA), which comes into effect on the 30th of June 2021. Data governance policies must now extend to dealing with and securing personal data that may be used remotely by knowledge works to do their job. Again, data governance and data cataloguing capabilities can help companies to understand how, where and why data is being shared, and make appropriate investments to ensure compliance.
Competitive advantage, the empowered remote workforce
A data-driven approach, which is proven to deliver enhanced experiences can increase customer spend. By finding the right technology solutions and data management advisor, the organisation can achieve better marketing, happier customers, improved profitability and generally a more successful business.
Empowering remote workforces with effectively managed data is the next frontier, it will be the differentiator in 2021. Organisations with well-managed data can benefit from the resulting productivity and become more agile, making it possible to spot market trends, deliver great CX and move to take advantage of new business opportunities. Apart from enhanced CX, competitive advantage and driving operational decision making, data management can also help companies avoid data breaches. Thus, reducing data privacy issues and improving regulatory compliance. Ultimately, the biggest benefit that a solid data management foundation can provide for a remote workforce is better business performance.
By Gary Allemann, Managing Director at Master Data Management