Big Blue Digital has been around in some form or another for 17 years.
I’ve only joined the team relatively recently, but even before I started I could see how much this business values innovation and agility. I could see that the team had developed a strong thesis for how businesses should evolve to meet changing expectations in the digital world.
It’s an approach that has not just ensured the business is still operating after 17 years, but growing.
LESSONS ON SMART BUSINESS
When I started, I immediately noticed the way information was shared around the office. Not, like other work environments I’ve been in – via emails, memos or meetings – but via screens, dashboards and internal systems. Business information like key project priorities, social media rankings and individual workloads were shared, creating an environment where any potential issue was made visible to be considered and problems solved.
If anything, I’ve seen this approach expand in the six months since.
I once asked Brendon (O’Sullivan, CEO and Digital Business Analyst) why he started down this path, and he told me that he really enjoyed the idea of building something that made businesses more efficient and competitive.
This, I realised, was our mission. We exist to help organisations meet their goals, today and tomorrow.
GETTING AGILE WITH BIG DATA
In the digital world, success is driven by efficiency.
In marketing, you need to get to the right customers in the right place at the right time, cutting through the clutter. In management, you need to be agile and able to make big decisions fast – or faster than your competitors.
This efficiency and agility in both cases are enabled by data.
Being truly data-driven means that evidence sits at the centre of all decision making, it becomes part of the daily activity of a business, not just something considered in monthly metrics meetings or when reporting time rolls around. Business Intelligence enables the embedding of data in the everyday.
And our business isn’t the only one to think so. Global IT consultancy firm Infosys released a report at the World Economic Forum in January 2016 showing that 18 out of the 25 most in-demand skills in Australia were in the STEM, data and data-driven marketing areas.
SCALE AND IMPROVEMENT
Business Intelligence, along with big data and data governance, has risen as a buzz word in the last few years. Collating and interrogating ‘data about data’ has been a feature of any smart business well before now, but technological advances have enabled speed and scalability, and given companies a tangible edge over their competition.
In many original iterations, this work was about internal teams securing, collating and analysing data for (often siloed) management. The ability to better scale systems has enabled a more end-to-end approach to data analysis and management.
Because of how it was sectioned and managed, Business Intelligence often fell to IT teams, and the information reported wasn’t always in the form that decision makers from other areas of the business needed. The role of a company like Big Blue Digital then, in a process like this, is to support and bridge the gap between the end user, great design, the IT and security, and the information itself.
The new big data world sees companies maintain control of their systems and information, with applications built on the top, mindful of security and the way that BI can transform internal systems and culture.
As a Marketing Strategist, taking a more data-driven approach is incredibly exciting, in terms of knowing exactly what is (and what isn’t) working, and adapting approaches in an agile way.
The definition of smart business will continue to evolve but at the moment, from what I can see, the smartest business is the one that keeps up with change, collects information quickly, and seamlessly integrates that with decision-making.
What do you think defines smart business? Join the conversation below, or on Facebook.