Highlights from our recent Round-table of Philadelphia Executive’s on Data Analytics
Thank you to all Technology Executives attendees, our co-sponsor Snowflake, and Alex Chang (The Whiskey Steward) for another great event! The recurring theme was that this is an exciting time for Data & Analytics projects and the resulting “move-the-needle” opportunities to increase both top and bottom lines, as well as establish competitive advantages.
Our conversations covered three topics (and a little Whiskey): 1) the criticality of aligning Data & Analytics projects to business outcomes; 2) how to accelerate these projects from both the business and technical perspectives; and 3) key takeaways from a Cloud Data Architecture that supports Data Analytics, Data Sharing and Business Intelligence projects.
Some of the key takeaways where:
1. We are in the technological equivalent of a “perfect storm” – high Cloud adoption, advancements in AI, and new technical capabilities previously only accessible to Fortune 50 companies that are enabling quick iterations and high rewards. Companies invested $3B in Data & Analytics projects two years ago. It is projected that by 2025, this investment will approach $90B, or a 50% CAGR. On the return-side, PwC recently estimated a $16T global GDP effect of this spending. It’s hard not to get excited about those potential returns.
2. Every data project should leverage a “Value Delivery Method”, something the business actually understands and cares about – Business Intelligence, Customer/Partner Data Sharing, or Advanced Analytics/AI/ML. These methods need to be supported by a Foundational Cloud Data Architecture with scalable compute and cost-effective storage. For the foundational part, Snowflake demonstrated their “Born-in-the-Cloud” Data Warehouse as being a key building block that helps companies accelerate time to market with unique features, a scalable architecture and TCO-efficient pricing.
3. The #1 challenge with achieving success is a misalignment of outcomes and business goals. By aligning to a strategic corporate goal of improved performance/profit, increased revenue, competitive advantages, and/or sustained customer value, business sponsors more easily become excited and engaged, leading to much higher success rates. Success is then equal parts business and technology starting with: a) getting a great Business-sponsor to help the organization adjust and make the outcomes actionable; b) bifurcating IT budgets between investments in data/AI and expenses to be managed; and c) starting small and iterating quickly.
4. Be cautious of the “lift-and-shift” data architecture, tools and platforms. Many of the newer technologies, such as Snowflake (Data Warehouse) and Looker (BI), are born-in-the-cloud and not migrations from legacy, on-prem solutions. The advantage is that Cloud-native solutions are less complex by having few, if any “work-arounds” required to be effective, leverage the “infinitely” scalable compute power in the Cloud, and greatly accelerate “Value Delivery” (aka realizing value from your data assets).
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