Executive Briefing: Turning Data into Dollars

AmCham China - Tianjin's monthly Executive Breakfast Briefing series focuses on turning data into dollars.

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By Antonio Douglas

Download a copy of the presentation slides and notes from this Executive Breakfast Briefing here.

“Big Data” has become a buzz-word within the tech industry, and learning how to turn large volumes of data into profit is becoming increasingly relevant to businesses. In light of these trends, AmCham China - Tianjin invited Michael David, Director of Internetrix, to be October’s Executive Breakfast speaker and to present on how members can make data work to their benefit. According to David, Big Data can be defined according to “The Three V’s” – volume, variety, and velocity. Volume refers to the amount of data being gathered, variety is its structure, and velocity is the speed at which it is generated. For a manufacturing company, this could mean taking a holistic view of supply-chain management, and looking for data that show inefficiencies in production. As David explained, the key is learning to view every bit of data as an asset. 

The challenge becomes understanding how to best use gathered data to become an effective tool of business. David described how that challenge is best addressed when company leaders understand three broad categories of data management. The first of these is “Data Principles,” or what companies should do to understand data. The second is “Data Strategies,” or how companies should use data to accomplish their goals. The final category is “Using Your Data,” or how businesses can interpret data to give them leverage in their market.

The essence of these guidelines is to provide context to large volumes of data by filtering it through a corporate strategy. David proposed that companies first have a clear goal they wish to use data to accomplish, otherwise the information will lack relevancy. When that context is provided, real results are produced. According to David, companies that embrace data as part of their business strategy are 64% more likely to outperform their competitors. Data will only continue to grow in size and complexity in the coming years, and David cautioned that becoming literate in “Big Data” will soon be a necessity for companies that wish to stay competitive.

The presentation was followed by a brief Q&A where members expressed a variety of concerns about integrating data into their day-to-day operations. A key concern of members was the cost associated with gathering data. Not all companies have the capital to invest into large amounts of data gathering, and without that capability there is a fear that they will soon become obsolete within their own industries. David suggested a streamlined approach to data gathering that specifically focused on a critical area a company wanted to improve, such as marketing, sales, etc.   These exchanges provided more insight into an increasingly relevant topic showed members’ engagement with the topic.

AmCham China - Tianjin would like to thank Michael David for sharing his strategies for success with our members. For more information on Executive Breakfast Briefings, please check our official website.

Antonio Douglas is an intern at AmCham China - Tianjin