Short Biography of Torrance Mayberry

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Big Data & the Seven P’s: To Advance an Organisation’s Growth Agenda

The data intensive society in which we live, work and play has rapidly emerged as a force influencing radical changes in the competitive landscape. The business ecosystem has become increasingly digital and globally interconnected. As a consequence organisations face challenging headwinds as cycles of change that are much faster create greater uncertainty. Organisations must innovate to grow, creating new business models in this era of “Big Data”. Adaptation is critical because markets react to reality and not expectations.

In this new norm the amount of data generated in society is staggering. Its complexity and the pace at which it is generated are also continuing to accelerate. Among other things, these factors have emerged testing the future competitiveness of organisations. An organisation’s resilience will be challenged and their ability to withstand the headwinds will depend on their ability to capitalise on Big Data.

Organisations that find creative and innovative ways to grow holistically will continue to break away from the pack. As long as they continue with a quickened responsiveness and innovation cycle that keep pace with this new norm – the data intensive society – they will have the advantage over their competitors.

This has left most organisations flat footed as yesterday’s business as usual is not aligned with today’s data intensive reality, and this is a disadvantage. As organisations struggle to understand how data can open up new possibilities in this data intensive society, they remain vulnerable to the sensitive ups and downs of faster change cycles. At the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2012 this theme was recognised as another major challenge that organisations must address

Most organisations in attendance agreed the way forward to address such a challenge was to reinvent business models to ensure they align with the market and societal expectations. In addition, most organisations agreed the long-term outlook would remain a challenge and uncertain until transformations occur to shape new models. Although this may be the case for most organisations, others will need to consider reformations to align with the new reality of Big Data. Successful reformations undertaken will enable organisations to effectively compete. This aspiration and its execution will depend on an organisation’s ability to make sense of data and how it gets integrated at the core of its business. An ability to harness Big Data to improve productivity and customer experience are a few examples of business outcomes they can achieve.

The reformation that fosters a greater level of data awareness and data imagination will have more potential to move an organisation’s thinking beyond yesterday’s business as usual mind sets. Reformations must also ensure organisations establish the right climate and culture to create the conditions to innovate for growth. For instance, organisations should focus reformation initiatives to reduce the amount of cognitive effort involved in decision making for both customers and employees.

In this new data intensive society, data is described as the digital air, the oxygen that binds together the rhythm of society and the carbon dioxide that it exhales (Boyd and Crawford, 2011). Organisations that focus on data centric capability as being core to future competitiveness will be better positioned to harness data intensive possibilities as society breathes this digital air.

The vantage point in Figure A – the Seven P’s shows the different but interconnected dimensions of Big Data. It can be used to create data awareness to tap into data imagination that explores new business models and opportunities. This is critical for organisations that are competing in the digital economy. The digital economy will continue to reward organisations that recognise the significance of the radical shift that has emerged and can unleash data-centric capability to bring forth new value.

In a series of posts I will examine the Seven P’s and their influence on an organisation’s ability to unleash value in this new data intensive society. As the emergence of this data intensive society stakes out the new competitive landscapes, methods of business will eventually need to adapt.

In brief the Seven P’s are:

Possibilities: opening the imagination of an organisation towards using Big Data for disruptive competition to meet business goals and deliver new value.

Purpose: the establishment of data centric capability that harnesses innovation and creativity to ethically advance the human condition.

Process: the implementation of data centric techniques that harnesses data in an ethical manner so all units of a business can act in real time to generate value that others have not imagined.

People: utilising the knowledge and skills of data centric capability as a catalyst for innovation by exploiting data as a raw material to add value.

Profit: capitalising on transformative data to achieve organisational goals and profit motivations.

Policy: the formulation of policies for the security and privacy of data collection and use while keeping pace with advancing technology innovations (Tene and Jules, 2012)

Productivity: enabling real time cognitive decision making while reducing effort for both employees and customers. The reduction in time to make decisions creates value, freeing up the entire organisation to focus on driving results to meet goals.

An organisation’s ability to sustain benefit realisation through the Seven P’s will depend on execution and embedding them into business models. In the data intensive society, the era of ‘Big Data’ has emerged giving disruptive potential to those organisations with the vision to imagine where data fits at the core. An organisation’s ability to embrace big data possibilities for the purpose of improving productivity and customer experience will create strong signs of certainty.

The transformative use of data is a factor that will ensure organisations not only advance their growth agenda but it will improve productivity with the right climate and culture.

Organisations are struggling to understand how data can open up new possibilities. In the meantime they remain vulnerable to the sensitive ups and downs of faster change cycles. As organisations look forward to the future in the aftermath of the WEF 2012 the Seven P’s combined with the right reformations undertaken is a pathway to enable organisations to address many themes outlined at Davos and compete in the new era.

More to come on each of the Seven Ps in future posts to this blog.

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