‘The Awakening’ – etventure in the Süddeutsche Zeitung
02. November 2016
Data is the currency of the 21st century. Although this message has been around for a while, many companies don’t know how to use their treasure troves of data. Although this shows the need for new methods and processes, what is needed above all else is a new way of thinking. A recent article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper outlines the intelligent data analysis tools that startups are currently using to conquer the market. In the article, Philipp Depiereux, Founder and Managing Director of etventure, explains what data-driven innovation can look like in companies.
Although the importance of data is being recognized, execution is proving difficult
The Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) entitles its article ‘Das Erwachen’ (‘The Awakening’) because many companies have previously been blind when it comes to analyzing their own data. The new analysis tools are implemented gradually to begin with. They make companies aware of the potential for improvement and of the right strategic decisions that are needed – including the necessity of completely overhauling the business model. “In a recent survey undertaken by Germany’s digital association Bitkom, four in five Germany companies said that important decisions were increasingly being made on the basis of data analysis. For more than two thirds of those surveyed, data analysis is playing an increasingly important role in value creation,” writes SZ editor Helmut Martin-Jung.
“Companies are plagued by a ‘status quo’ mentality”
Digitization acts “as a brand accelerator,” the article says, and allows companies to gain huge competitive advantages. The problem is that many employees kick back against innovation. “Companies are plagued by a ‘status quo’ mentality,” says Philipp Depiereux, who is cited in the article. To dodge the powerful surge of this mentality, his recommended solution is this: “Found a digital unit that is not part of the company.” This makes it possible to develop innovations and digital projects in an environment that is “independent of the maelstrom of bureaucracy, the compliance mindset, the legal issues, and other similar obstacles,” the article explains. Speed is of the essence. The idea, the development of the first prototype, and then the initial client tests – this is a process that generally only takes a few weeks. If the outcome of the testing is positive, this also makes it easier to integrate digital projects into the main organization. This is because the success of the project can be backed up with figures and data – even the toughest of skeptics will find it hard to oppose these kinds of facts.
In addition to this, the external digital unit has another positive side effect, in that “the talents of tomorrow,” as Depiereux calls them, are mostly located in large cities. The entrepreneurially-minded digital experts to which he refers are not easily attracted to company headquarters in provincial locations. Yet there is an extreme shortage of people with these skills. Even data-based sourcing and recruiting services are hard-pushed to find the right personnel in this area because they simply do not exist.
Find here the full article from the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper “Das Erwachen” (German).