When It Comes To Data, Innovate Or Die
As we approach the end of 2021, nations around the world are cautiously trying to emerge from COVID quarantine and regain a sense of normalcy. For businesses, that includes embracing the concept of work-from-home and a hybrid model that relies on remote collaboration. A new report from Splunk examines the role of data, and the importance of data maturity and innovation for helping companies achieve and maintain a competitive edge.
The State of Data Innovation 2021 report was compiled from a survey conducted in June of 2021. 1,250 respondents from 10 countries took part, with companies of various sizes represented.
Transforming Business through Innovation
The report starts by laying out a simple premise: “Innovation is arguably the virtue that is most important to a company’s success.”
What do they mean by innovation? The report explains, “Any innovation is a response to a condition. Whether novel (restaurants’ shift to all-takeout during COVID-19) or longstanding (Henry Ford’s reaction to complex manufacturing processes). And an innovation is, by nature of being new, an experiment.”
That is the primary takeaway from the survey. Splunk found that the businesses that are leading in their industries generally have more mature data practices and implement more innovative approaches for working with that data. Those businesses reported double the innovation of beginner-level organizations and were almost twice as likely to indicate that their data-fueled innovation enabled them to enter new markets and increase revenue.
They also had nearly double the increase in employee productivity (16% vs 9%) and were nearly twice as likely (66% vs 36%) to be directly monetizing data. In fact, for those organizations data monetization accounts for 31% more revenue and is growing 75% faster than their beginner-level competitors.
Doing the Right Things With the Right Data
Innovation can be driven by business intelligence derived from data—but that assumes you have the right data, and that you know what to do with it.
Shawn Bice, President of Products and Technology for Splunk, shared, “I’ve spent most of my career in data, and I can tell you that 99 out of 100 organizations don’t really know what to do with their data.”
The Splunk report found that less than one-third of the organizations surveyed have a classification system in place to define most or all of their data. Just under 30% also revealed that some or all lines of business keep their own data hidden in separate silos.
Perhaps the most damning statistic, though, is that only 1 in 5 of the survey participants agreed that all or most of their employees have the skills and tools they need to properly access the data needed to their jobs well.
Accelerating Innovation During the Pandemic
Businesses can always benefit from innovation, but challenging times make innovation an imperative. The last year and a half has demanded a dramatic shift in the way people live and work, and completely changed the rules of engagement for some industries. The Splunk survey found that companies that lead in data innovation were almost 5 times more likely to have significantly accelerate major data innovation projects since the COVID pandemic began.
Two examples of companies leading through innovation are Lenovo and Zoom. Lenovo is one example of a company leading through innovation. The tech company offers frictionless e-commerce with instant operational visibility and real-time actionable insights. With Splunk and data innovation, Lenovo cut troubleshooting time in half and maintained 100% uptime despite a 300% increase of web traffic.
Zoom is perhaps the poster child for success during—and directly driven by—the COVID pandemic. They saw a 100x increase in daily users almost overnight and with that came security issues and media scrutiny. They turned to Splunk and data innovation to fortify their systems and keep the world connected during the pandemic.
Leading the Way with Data
I spoke with Doug Merritt, CEO of Splunk, about the State of Data Innovation 2021 report. We talked about how organizations can do a better job of harnessing their data to drive innovation.
Doug said that for most businesses today, the data they need likely exists somewhere—either within their organization or some combination of inside and outside of the company. He stressed, however, that having the data is just first step. It’s important to be curious enough to ask the right questions.
We talked about how there are certain data metrics and questions that are more or less table stakes. They are the questions that everyone asks. Data innovation requires thinking creatively and coming up with new ways to view and work with the data—ways that your competitors haven’t thought of.
Doug shared that leaders need to approach innovation with intention, process, and investment. He also noted that accelerating innovation with data requires a culture that’s ready to take data and run with it. It’s important to focus on data, clear organizational roadblocks, ensure the right staff are in place, and ultimately measure and incentivize innovation.
For more details, check out the Splunk State of Data Innovation 2021 report for yourself. Then start getting creative and find some unique and innovative ways to use the data at your disposal.