Winning with Data | Frank Bien

Summary of: Winning with Data: Transform Your Culture, Empower Your People, and Shape the Future
By: Frank Bien


Discover the power of data-backed decision making in the book ‘Winning with Data: Transform Your Culture, Empower Your People, and Shape the Future’ by Frank Bien. Unearth the core concepts as the book highlights the use of algorithms to optimize business practices in sales, management, marketing, and product development. Learn how successful firms like Uber structure their approach to master the art of data analytics, enabling market dominance. This summary will enlighten you on the journey of companies as they transform their culture to embrace data and provide insights into leveraging data to improve performance, thus becoming future-proof.

Marketing in the Digital Age

Today’s marketers no longer rely on the traditional Mad Men era of advertising. Instead, they use algorithms, which help businesses make informed decisions about where and how to display ads and set prices. Data has become a vital tool to drive selling, management, and product development. The shift towards data-driven decision-making has changed the marketing profession, making it necessary for marketers to become skilled storytellers with data analytics. Software can provide sales teams with a list of potential customers, social media activities can inform the hiring process, and managers can track individual shoppers’ buying decisions.

Data Optimization for the Future

Some companies have adapted to data optimization, which provides an advantage in the market. Unlike traditional companies that treat data as a historical record, Uber is an example of a company that utilizes data management systems to set prices and inform drivers of the best times to operate. These methods create an efficient and competitive advantage, which is the future of successful companies. As a result, other companies will eventually embrace data optimization to remain relevant and competitive in today’s market.

Master the Art of Data Management

Effective use of data can provide insights into various facets of your business, including customer profitability, sales strategies, and product launch timelines. Don’t just rely on data to analyze the past, but rather understand its potential and use it to your advantage. Data management leaders base their decisions on current findings and save valuable time in the process.

Analyzing Data in Companies

Employees in most companies face significant challenges analyzing data due to a lack of time, heavy workloads, and seniority-based response times. As a result, teams often act hastily, without fully taking time to analyze the data, and firms lose out on maximizing the value of big data, as well as the capacity of their employees.

Operationalizing Data

The ability to organize data is vital for companies. Most firms have many sources of information, but they make little attempt to map this data. According to an Economist survey, 60% of companies feel their inability to organize data is their greatest competitive disadvantage. Many businesses have numerous databases, each with millions of data elements. The employees managing data must analyze and interpret this data accurately, quickly, and efficiently. Without proper data organization, even skilled analysts can make mistakes and cause their colleagues to lose faith in the value of the data. The future competitive advantage of any business lies in operationalizing data.

Ad Hoc Data Sources

Employees often create their own ad hoc databases due to lack of cooperation from their firm’s data management team. These ad hoc sources can lead to inaccurate data, which can result in misleading information provided to colleagues and clients. Lack of coordination across corporate units and measurement standards can lead to disagreement and mistrust. The book emphasizes that most companies use data retroactively instead of proactively to drive decisions, which can be a hindrance to overall success.

The Evolution of Business Intelligence

The origins of business intelligence can be traced back to “A Business Intelligence System” by Hans Peter Luhn in 1958. Despite changes in data management infrastructure, the process of requesting information remains similar. A business user poses a question to data managers who translate it to the appropriate format for the system and extract data. While this fundamental process has remained, the cost of storing data has decreased significantly.

Oracle’s Dominance and Costly Data Storage

Oracle is the leader in the database market due to the versatility of its technology and its unique pricing method. However, storing data with Oracle is costly. The creators of its pioneering intelligence system designed it assuming database storage would remain expensive, resulting in data silos that hinder universal metrics. As companies grew, the three-tier model for handling data became problematic, leading to time-consuming and expensive report preparation. Innovative companies solved this issue by experimenting and pushing new ideas into production, leading to a fresh approach in data management.

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