Visibility in a business is the key to driving sustainability while increasing valuation.

Developing visibility across your business is about closing the information gap. It is the difference between an organisation's ability to make smart business decisions, to achieve competitive advantage, and not. The information gap is essentially the unknown, it is the wealth of untapped information that is already sitting within the separate business systems and currently going to waste. It’s the equivalent of owning a gold mine pre the rush of 1948 and deciding that you just can’t be bothered to dig it up, while your counterparts are already shipping thousands of workers across the county, pickaxes in hand, prepped and ready to make their fortune.

Today, we are facing the modern day, data-based equivalent of the California gold rush. Except the prosperous aren't mining gold, they are mining information. The successful businesses of today, (and ultimately tomorrow) are leveraging the tools required to decode the wealth of information in their organisations, to derive insights that will ultimately enable strong competitive moats and advantages. And, they are only just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of what is truly possible. New research from the Capgemini Research Institute reveals that globally, organisations not involved in sharing, exchanging and collaborating with data, could be missing out on financial benefits of up to 9% of annual revenue.

So what are the organisations doing that are leading the way?

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They are connecting the different systems across the organisation to create advanced data ecosystems

Simply put, a data ecosystem is a platform that combines data from numerous sources. Data tends to be held and organised in departments. The HR department will generally have their own systems and ways of doing things, as will the procurement team, the design group and so on and so forth. The data contained within these independent systems is referred to as siloed data. Even in smaller organisations, things can get pretty complicated, quickly. When organisations operate in this way, a few archetypal themes generally emerge; a lack of clarity and general level of confusion surrounding common business goals and objectives, the inability for leadership to feel confident in decision making, poor customer experience due to long lead times and nontransparent processes, and often considerable duplicated efforts across the organisation.

Successful companies are revising incoherent processes to loop in the right people at the right time, connecting siloed data sources and applying advanced analytics to close the information gap. They are taking abstract data points and are developing collaborative ecosystem models and complex types of data sharing capabilities to enable business insights far beyond what is possible with individual systems or basic data sharing to significantly increase that valuation of their organisations. In fact, PwC research indicates that Valuation multiples of data-driven firms tend to be significantly higher than other industries.

They are leveraging data ecosystems and AI to drive sustainability agendas

Enabling sustainable and energy efficient business models is a prevalent theme and the pressure for companies to respond is building rapidly. Latest insights from BCG note that the difficulty and expense of measuring the full extent of their carbon emissions, and then reducing or offsetting them, has forced many companies to delay the effort.

Leveraging insights derived from artificial intelligence (AI) and processed through data ecosystems is one of the key ways that organisations are beginning to effectively act on sustainability agendas. Examples include; the integration of variable renewables by enabling smart grids that partially match electrical demand to times when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, to the prediction of energy and water usage to contain demand and growth.

Companies successfully driving sustainability agendas are combining digital and green agendas and the potential for innovation is tremendous. Most of that potential is still untapped however, and in order to make progress; digitalisation and decarbonisation must work hand-in-hand.

The climate crisis won’t wait, now is the time to start making changes.

Charlotte Fuller is an award-winning digital transformation consultant. She helps her clients get to the heart of what their business needs, so they can create competitive, digital strategies that enable growth. Subscribe to her newsletter and never miss an update.

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