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Data in many cases has become a commodity. The availability of data is not a challenge in today’s connected world. Data surrounds all that we do. But it is because data itself is so plentiful that getting to the right data is a massive challenge. Organizations are tasked with implementing strategies to get maximum impact from data, but that’s not an easy feat. It requires the right data, and a sound strategy.
We sat down with our Director of Data Science and Analytics, Daniel Tibble, to get his expert take on what organizations can do to ensure they have the best strategy with the right data at its core, and what common pitfalls to avoid. He boiled it down to these four tips:
Data is dynamic. What worked yesterday may not be what is needed today. It’s critical for organizations to have regular data maintenance checks. What sources are you using? Are they secure, timely, accurate and reliable? And most importantly, are they providing insights that can help your business make better decisions? Often an organization will be using data from a historical source and not realize that information may have new biases they aren’t taking into consideration. Others will mistakenly think more is better and lose sight of the richer, smaller sets of data. The first step in implementing a successful data strategy is to ensure the data you have is the data you need.
There are times when data will provide a single answer to a question, but that’s not when it’s most powerful. The best data sources are those that help you gain a deeper, more contextual understanding of trends so you can ask better questions. Is the data you’re using shedding light on things you didn’t know before? Are you gaining access to information that can help your business that you previously were not able to leverage or simply unaware existed? The power of your data comes when it can have an exponential impact on your business. Measure it not only by the questions it answers, but by the new ones it allows you to ask.
When considering how to structure your data strategy, don’t make the mistake of using only one data stream as your source of truth. The best data strategies have multiple data sources that bring a variety of attributes into the picture and ensure the story your data is telling is a reliable one. By taking disparate data sources and joining them together in a meaningful way, you can not only speed up the time it takes to get rich insights, but also ensure those insights are accurate. Take for example, on August 22, 2021, there was a dip in the safety index on a specific roadway in New York, meaning that the road seemingly was safer to travel on than usual that day. While at first, one may have concluded that to mean August 22nd was a good time to travel that roadway, upon applying additional sources we found that a major storm had hit and significant flooding was happening on that road. So, while the initial data said the traffic flow was light and danger may be low, additional layers of data showed that it was not a safer time to travel. In fact, it was far more dangerous. Varied data sources brought together in a seamless way enable you to apply customizable logic to get the reliable answers you need.
A data strategy is most effective when it considers two things: how data is managed and how it is leveraged. Lead your organization to adopt a centralized, controlled approach to how data is managed, letting the experts balance where data can help the business and where it can lead to vulnerability. Once that ‘hub’ is established, build ‘spokes’ that connect business groups to the centralized data hub so you can maximize its value. The best data is the kind that can be leveraged throughout an organization, by those who are not data scientists, to make informed decisions that ultimately drive revenue, cut costs, or improve overall business operations. With many data software options available today, consider which offer this unique hub and spoke capability in a secure, scalable way.
At Wejo, we stand for Data for Good and see a world where data can enable a better future. With the right data, and a smart strategy around how you use it, the power is in your hands. Think about how that power can help your business, and the community around you. The opportunities are endless.
If you are looking for a mobility insights platform that show you key insights without the need for a tech team, Wejo Studio is the perfect destination for all your mobility data needs. You can also check out our other products, from source data to Intelligence products here.