With the exponential growth of data showing no signs of slowing, today’s businesses can benefit from guidance to utilise their data insights for maximum benefit. The Tealium Digital Velocity event, held recently in London, was designed to do just that.
Now in its fourth year, the event included 35 sessions over two days and was attended by more than 600 data professionals from across Europe. It created a unique window into the current state of digital transformation and provided a forum for businesses to share their experiences, advice and concerns around the use of data.
Here are five key takeaways from the event:
1. Digital transformation is still in its early stages
Every business represented at the event is in the midst of an individual digital transformation initiative, propelled in its own unique direction for enhanced data utilisation. But it’s important to remember most companies are still in the early stages of the journey and that a methodical step-by-step approach is likely to be more effective and sustainable than a rushed process.
Speaking at a roundtable entitled, “The single customer view: Mind the gap,” Martin Vinter, online business developer at Scandinavian insurance provider Tryg, underlined that while a single customer view is an achievable goal, attaining it will inevitably take time.
Many businesses are still at the first stage of defining their specific goals in digital transformation and setting milestones to measure progress. GORE-TEX®, for instance, shared its new multi-channel analytics and tracking framework which is the first stage in a long-term plan to measure performance at a global level.
2. Solid foundations are the launch pad for success
Keynote speaker, global adventurer and ultimate triathlete James Ketchell opened the event by outlining the vital role that solid foundations play in our lives, allowing us to rise to new challenges and achieve great things. While not all delegates were keen to climb Everest, row the Atlantic or cycle around the world, the sentiment of building strong foundations to underpin success was echoed throughout the event.
Despite each business taking its own unique digital transformation journey, the fundamental starting blocks are broadly the same. By standardising first-party data collection, tightening controls around data management and governance, and centralising data from disparate silos, businesses can form a robust data foundation on which to build successful strategies.
James Morgan, head of information strategy and management at Sainsbury’s, outlined how the complexity of the data supply chain and the diversity of touchpoints businesses are working with, makes it vital to standardise data collection and sharing practices before data activation can even be considered.
3. People are the cornerstone of agility and growth
Despite an increased emphasis on data and automation, with machines reaching unprecedented levels of intelligence, the event delivered timely reminders that a company’s success still depends on its people.
Francisco Carvalho Araújo, product manager at Monzo Bank, described people, teams and their interactions as a “hidden gem” and the cornerstone that enables a business to be agile and stay ahead of the curve. He explained the necessity of embedding key business drivers into employees no matter whether the company is a start-up or a big corporation. By nurturing individuals and empowering them to develop and grow as a team, businesses can reap the rewards of a dynamic, innovative workforce.
4. There is a thirst for technological understanding
With data playing an increasingly central role in business strategy and success, event attendees displayed a palpable enthusiasm for company-wide education around the technological landscape.
Educational sessions, including a demonstration of how businesses can streamline data flows and orchestrate the data powering customer experience from a central hub, saw record attendance with delegates keen to understand the different solutions available for data management.
Information about the use of mobile data was in particular demand, with marketers keen to understand how to use devices that are permanently switched-on and close to hand to engage today’s continually-connected consumers.
5. First-party focus is more than just compliance
As the importance and complexity of data continues to rise, businesses are increasingly looking to use their own first-party data to generate actionable insight rather than relying on third-party data. While this shift is accelerated by legislation, a roundtable exploring whether third-party data is viable in a post-GDPR world revealed other drivers.
Jasminder Sidhu, security engineering, design and governance at Lloyds Banking Group, identified the need for real-time action as a trigger to move away from third-party data, while Julian Brewer, head of digital marketing at Schroders Bank, emphasised the necessity of first-party data for quality insight.