Becoming an Intelligent Enterprise: Part 1 – Data Enablement


In today’s business landscape, data is everything. It’s the fuel that powers modern enterprises, the key to unlocking insights and competitive advantage. But not all companies are at the same level when it comes to using data effectively. To truly thrive in the modern world, businesses must become what is known as an Intelligent Enterprise, one that is fully enabled with data and analytics.

So what exactly does it mean to be an Intelligent Enterprise?

At its core, it means having a company-wide focus on being Data Enabled. Notice I didn’t use the term “data-driven”. Don’t get me wrong, being data-driven is certainly an outcome of becoming data enabled. It’s just not the right term to encompass what being data enabled truly means.  

Data Enabled is when every aspect of your business, every business process, every department, and every role within is equipped with the data they need to perform their function effectively and efficiently 

This doesn’t just mean they have a spreadsheet.

This doesn’t even mean they have a BI tool.

It’s much, much more…from technology that is utilized to organizational changes to business culture.

For part one of this series, I want to dive a little deeper into “data-enabled”.

To be truly “enabled,” your business data must meet 3 criteria: Accessible, Understandable, and Actionable.

Accessible means that data is easy to get to. It’s not difficult to extract and is certainly not hidden away in those silos everyone keeps talking about. Accessibility is key because data is useless if it’s difficult to extract and produce. 

Understandable means that data is structured in such a way that makes insights instantaneous.  When data is understandable, insights are obvious at a glance without requiring hours of analysis. An executive or a department head doesn’t need a rosetta stone to decrypt what the data is telling them. This is both a low-level technical and visual design approach.

Actionable means the data can be used to make a decision or influence an outcome. It’s the other side of the coin to being understandable. It is also the most critical. Data is useless if it doesn’t drive actions.

How well a company does Data Enablement is one measure of its maturity. If employees are spending hours or even days producing insights, then the company has some work to do. This is where having a robust data platform comes in. This could be a data lake, data warehouse, or any other type of database that works for your business. The key is that it needs to be able to house your business data, structured to support query and analysis.

The linchpin to a mature, state-of-the-art data and analytics system is having a robust data platform. It can’t be your ERP database, and it can’t be a bunch of spreadsheets. It needs to be a database of some sort that can house your business data, integrated with all the dimensions that make sense for your business. This is what allows you to slice and dice your data, gaining insights that can help your business make better decisions.

Becoming an Intelligent Enterprise is the key to unlocking the full potential of your business. It requires a company-wide focus on data-driven decision-making and a robust data platform to support that focus. When done right, it can drive incredible business outcomes, from increased efficiency to better customer satisfaction to higher revenues.So if you’re not already focused on becoming an Intelligent Enterprise, now is the time to start. This means investing in training and development to ensure that all employees have the skills they need to effectively use data and analytics. It also means fostering a mindset that prioritizes data and encourages experimentation and learning. Ultimately, it’s about creating an organization that is agile, innovative, and able to thrive in an ever-changing business environment. By becoming an Intelligent Enterprise, businesses can position themselves for long-term success and unlock the full potential of their data.

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