Why ‘Data Native’ Businesses will be the Ones to Survive

Dumbill believes that treasury and finance professionals are likely more aware than most people how important data is to the business. Therefore, “we need to be much better about integrating the data we have at all of our organisations,” he says.

But big data, he stresses, is not simply about the tools. Rather, it’s about “business agility.” Businesses need to be able to quickly adapt and experiment. “It’s not just understanding your landscape in fast time that makes a difference, it’s being able to respond to it,” he adds.

Recognising this need, many businesses are appointing individuals to be chief data officers (CDOs), whose purpose is essentially to align business value with the data infrastructure. “They’re often very interesting political wranglers, and people who know how to navigate an organization – how to bring the data assets in the organisation together to create value,” Dumbill notes.

In order for businesses to be successful, he suggests that they need to become “data native.” In an increasingly digitised world, companies need to be cognisant of data, analysis and data science. “The new technological architectures that are available to us offer new opportunities,” he says. “Business can’t exist without understanding the capabilities of the technology and the ways to work with it.”

Furthermore, Dumbill even goes so far as to admit that he wouldn’t want to work for a company whose chief executive brushes off data and believes it’s only for the IT staff. “It is unforgiveable to be ignorant of the capabilities of the technology platforms,” he says. “So the answer is creating an enterprise that embraces that experimentation and development. The business has to understand the potential of the technology that’s around us.”

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