In our work with customers around data and analytics we find that, in this digital age, businesses don’t want to just accumulate data, they want to turn that data into insights that will help them improve services, marketing offerings and customer experience.

Contino recently hosted two seminars in Australia on the theme 'knowing your customer in a data-rich world'. The events, held in Melbourne and Sydney, were co-hosted with Amazon Web Services, of which Contino is a Premier Partner globally.

In both cities, the discussion centred on how to create the right conditions that would allow businesses to harness the power of data and analytics not only to gain a competitive advantage, but also to provide services that add real value to the customer experience.

Here are the key takeaways:

1. Don’t tackle everything at once. Start small and scale

Many organisations try to tackle all of their data in one go. Instead, start small and scale.

Identifying one, most likely major, problem in your organisation and tackling it right away will not only prove the value of data and analytics projects, but drive buy in from senior stakeholders.

Pick a small and capable team made up of your best data engineers, scientists and business subject matter experts and start workshopping ideas, experimenting with different outcomes you can produce with your data. Enlist external help if you need to, and make sure you learn as much as you can along the way.

2. Data without business context means nothing

Anyone can be a digital hoarder.

But businesses that prioritise quality and context over volume will be able to drive deeper knowledge and better outcomes from their data. As a result, these businesses are better equipped to respond faster to customer needs.  Further, actionable insights help businesses differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market.

3. Getting senior exec buy-in is hard…for everyone

Senior executives always want proof that a project is going to work before investing serious dollar. This brings us back to point one – start small and scale.

Get something working so that you have evidence of the value and real benefits being generated. Once you can demonstrate this, your senior management will be your biggest advocates! This is when your data and analytics journey will really accelerate.

4. Customer personalisation (but keep it ethical)

When used properly, customer insights can help businesses create incredible experiences for their customers. However, it is important to know when personalisation goes too far and becomes intrusive. Businesses will need to understand how to strike the right balance between personalisation and allowing their customers to decide their own level of engagement and exposure.

5. Data governance is critical (for keeping you out of the papers!)

Businesses are responsible for the data they collect about their customers and must take the necessary steps to safeguard customer information. Organisations that do not have a robust and secure data security and governance strategy are putting themselves at risk.

Major breaches are becoming more frequent and consequential. Two-thirds of organizations say their in-house cybersecurity capabilities are adequate to protect against cyber threats, yet nearly 80% say they have been breached within the past year [1]. These breaches are heavily publicised and can have a massive impact on a company’s reputation.

6. Don’t isolate your data scientists from the rest of the business

Once you get going, embed your data scientists in different areas of the business so they can understand what the business as a whole is trying to achieve. This will arm your data scientists with business context, in turn making them more effective at identifying, and solving, problems.

When it comes to data, it’s always smarter to ‘walk before you can run’ to make sure you don’t stumble along your journey!

For more information about Contino’s Data and Analytics practice, go to





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Paul Solé

Principal Consultant at Contino

Paul Solé is a Principal Consultant at Contino, APAC. Paul focuses in Commercial and Strategic Enablement of customers, and brings global experience in enabling technology transformation programs for enterprise organisations.