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Three surprising changes on the road to digital transformation | 7wData

Last updated: 12-03-2019

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Three surprising changes on the road to digital transformation | 7wData

Three surprising changes on the road to digital transformation
Running a company has never been an exact science – at times it’s more gut feeling and gumption, directed by strategy. However, with more industries utilizing data as part of their digital transformation to inform strategic internal and external business decisions, marketers must give way to an analytical and evidence-based approach.
Often along this path, business leaders have ideas about expected outcomes. Some of these ideas have proven correct. For example, the ability to lean on research to sell an idea to a client, the value of expanding data and analytics teams and being able to more strategically cater products to data findings. But there have also been some surprises along the way.
When utilizing data, one would think that numbers are the end-all, be-all. However, numbers can be meaningless if they are not coupled with smart analysis. This is why a marketing team with experienced and strategically minded data analysts, who can apply critical thinking skills to interpret findings, is key to success.
When I first began applying a data-driven strategy at the school I founded to teach Brazilian students English, with an emphasis on applying the language to business, I was relying on a rudimentary understanding of numbers. This led me to make decisions that I thought were data-driven, however, they were more emotionally fueled.
It took working with outside consultants to show me that this method was incorrect and that I needed to incorporate data analysis to my approach. Upon taking a deep dive into interpreting the numbers I discovered that my target audience was actually much larger than I originally thought.
Through further analysis, I also discovered my students preferred a digital approach which lead me to converting my physical school to an online classroom. Once I had tailored my approach to my audience, I saw my student acquisition rate increase significantly, from 3,000 students to over 110,000 students.
The experience of being proven wrong – even with figures – can be challenging, but if you’re willing to set aside your pride and listen, the results can be powerful. Had I realized this sooner, what took me four and a half years to achieve could have been attained in two, and likely resulted in my company being acquired earlier.
Another surprising element is that buzzwords can be a roadblock to digital transformation. For example, the overuse of such terminology as “data-driven” and “AI” can cause clients to be skeptical and resistant to the facts.
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