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We are entering an unprecedented age in which data is abundant. According to IDC, humankind will possess and store approximately 40 zettabytes of data by 2020. For growing small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), keeping all of this data manageable is enough of a challenge on its own. Being able to transform that data into a valuable resource is another story, and that is the more critical aspect of managing data today.

Accordingly, revealed that C-suite executives are constantly looking for innovative approaches to “connect the dots” in their data to gain actionable insights. However, getting to the starting point is a big challenge. “Data is everywhere, telling us everything,” said Mark Toon, CEO of KPMG Capital and global leader, D&A. “But do companies really know where to look?”

A big part of the problem is identifying which tools ne

ed to be used and how to use them. According to a survey conducted by the Financial Times Group, 85% of executives struggle to implement the correct solutions that will accurately analyze and interpret their existing data.

In addition to not having the right tools, executives are also unsure of which data should be isolated for analytical purposes. Their viewpoint on data analysis can sometimes be short-sighted or limited to the scope of a specific department. In turn, their workforce will look at the data through the same restricted lens.

According to, it’s important for executives to implement a more holistic strategy. Data should be driving operational performance on multiple levels for customers and internal stakeholders alike. Executives should get their workforce in on the action and foster a data-centric, analytics-driven mindset across the company.

Once the culture is established, finding the right tools and unearthing the most pertinent data point will come naturally. However, it all starts with asking a simple question: What are we trying to achieve with our data? With that answer, all of the pieces should fall into place.

For more insight into how you can tap into the full potential of your data, contact the IBM BP Network team today.

Written by IBM BP Network