The power of data is unescapable. As you saw in the last post, it can guide businesses towards what their customers want, to give them a service they won't forget. But you'll know that great customer service isn't the only place data can lead. And the more data your customers build up, the more uses they'll want to (and be able to) find for it.
Imagine data like a planet. Yes, it can still be explored for new opportunities. But in the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), it also attracts new data, apps, and services. Your customers are always looking for new ways to make the most of it all.
This is what we call data gravity - and as the data a company owns grows, the pull gets stronger. Before long, everything the business does revolves around it. Everyone is connected to an enormous hub of knowledge. And, if the data is used properly, every business decision can be a smart one.
Big data gets bigger
In the 4IR, the more data your customers have, the bigger their potential. The more new opportunities there are for you to add value. And the more promising paths appear. With all that data in one place, your customers have some serious power.
Of course, something so massive can be tough to manage. And the exponential growth of your customers' data can quickly get out of hand. So what can your customers do? By its very definition, data gravity is unstoppable. It's a law of the 4IR that can't be broken. Their data is going to grow, and that's that.
But what if, like an uncharted planet, you could help them map it?
Managing the mass
Maybe your customers are concerned that their data will, at some point, reach a critical mass, where no more can be saved until some old data is deleted. Perhaps there's a new app or service drawing on these masses of data, but your customers don't know where it fits in. And, of course, they probably want to be able to navigate their way through the data, to uncover all the insights it holds.
For a mass of data that keeps on growing, your customers need a management platform that can keep on scaling. The cloud is a natural environment for this. There are some really versatile options out there, like Microsoft Azure, which forms a platform your customers can build their data insights on. Microsoft Dynamics 365 is another, specifically built for bringing data together.
In the 4IR, data gravity applies to businesses large and small. But with the cloud, affordable, effective, easy-to-use data management tools are available to everyone, too.
The good of data gravity
You'll find stories of businesses successfully using the cloud to harness data gravity wherever you look. One is of Quantico Boot, which, like all businesses, found the volume of its data growing. The trouble was, it was getting too big for the single email account the small team used for its customer service and record keeping.
Christopher Gates is the Business Operations Manager. He quickly realised what all businesses come to realise when data gravity takes its hold. "It was obvious right from the beginning that we needed something to manage it all."
Trial and error of a few other solutions led the team at Quantico Boot to Microsoft Dynamics 365. And now, Gates says, "I don't know which part I don't use." When Quantico Boot gets a sale or purchase order, Dynamics 365 sends it through Outlook. When an order needs tracking, Dynamics 365 creates a summary in a Word document. In short, as new data is created, it quickly finds its place.
Taking every opportunity
This mass of data is a resource. It needs to be managed. And when new apps and services start tapping into this data, they should be given a chance to find their place - to be their most valuable. In the 4IR, data is always creating new opportunities.
The cloud is how your customers realise those opportunities. Make sure your customers don't miss a thing - in our next blog post, we'll explore the potential that might have slipped through the cracks.
In the meantime, download our infographic on how to manage your customer's growing data.