Say hello to Milutin Rmandic, our Director of Data-Driven Transformation

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Business has always relied on data. However, as society becomes more digitised and the level of global competition increases, leveraging the mountain of data created and stored within your organisation now defines the difference between success and failure. Information-driven companies such as Amazon, Netflix and Uber all have data down to a science and they’re using their expertise to claim international market share.

It’s time to introduce Milutin Rmandic. He is committed to working with clients to achieve success through data-driven organisational transformation.


Why data? What excites you about this field?

Data is powerful. It helps people break down barriers to communication and understanding.

When we look at the consumption and application of data, for me, it holds parallels with reading literacy — it’s about gaining knowledge to enhance human decision making.

Today, society and commerce are rapidly evolving towards digital ways of doing things, dramatically growing the amount of data collected and available. With this comes a need for organisations, and society in general, to better understand the implications.


What role does data play in organisations? Why is it important to mind your data? How does this all fit with digital transformation (DT)?

The role of data in any business is to inform and augment human decision making. Such decisions can range from optimising or changing existing processes to creating new and innovative services, products and experiences, as well as disrupting the status quo.

Data-driven design should be at the core of any transformational effort, including digital. Augmented and automated decisioning processes are enabled by data complementing human input, experience and understanding. Based on human-centric design, data-driven interventions allow organisations to provide better experiences for customers, employees and other stakeholders.

Properly used, customer-specific data, such as behavioural or preferential, can enable the delivery of customised experiences at key times during a customer’s journey — sometimes referred to as ‘moments of truth.’  ‘Purpose-driven’ data allows us to define what success really means for individual customers and how to deliver appropriate personalised experiences.


What are the top 3 things to be thinking about in regard to data practices?

  1. Adopt a data-first approach
    What data does your business currently have? What is the purpose of your data? What data is required? Understanding what’s feasible and possible from a data point of view is important. So too, is looking at data from different viewpoints to help the business focus on high-value areas. Once the areas of focus are clear, the next step would be to develop a data capability roadmap prioritised based on business goals.

  2. Explore how data analytics can be applied to address problems
    To gain long-term support and initiate change, organisations must demonstrate how data and analytics can identify and solve pressing business challenges. Once you gain stakeholder support, work on a plan to integrate business analytics as a core function in your organisation.

  3. Use external learnings and experiences to your advantage
    There is a wealth of established knowledge in this domain. Engaging with experts who can share their perspectives and assist in realising the value inherent in data can both mitigate risks and save time and energy.


What are the typical growing pains when it comes to better understanding data?

Working with data can be overwhelming. There are many opportunities and challenges to explore. Understanding what’s applicable or relevant, either as consumers or producers of data, is one of the first hurdles.

Other areas that can be tough to pinpoint, including:

  • Where to start?
  • How to navigate data and analytics investments.
  • How to become responsive based on insights.
  • How to apply learnings.

It’s my role to help customers in these areas and to work with them to increase returns from investments in data whilst reducing the risk of failures on their journey.


Where are companies getting into tricky spots in regard to data practices?

There is a lot of hype around data. So much so, sometimes, businesses are making significant investments without having a clear picture of the business value they may gain. This can result in wasted money and time. In order to optimise benefits from data-related investments, businesses should focus on understanding how to align priorities to data-focused activities.


What's your approach to working with clients?

While Solnet brings technical, functional, and data and analytics domain expertise, our clients know more about their business than anybody else. Full stop. For me, it’s about co-creating value with clients.

As a local company, Solnet is committed to helping Kiwi organisations remain relevant and competitive in a digital economy. My role is to advise and coach them on their journey so they can better leverage and realise value from data, make good investments and manage associated risks.

The key to creating value is to narrow the focus. I help our clients apply the learning from experiences I’ve had working with other organisations. It’s about uncovering things like their customer’s pain points and opportunities for the business while formulating strategy and instilling the cultural aspects required to enable success.


What are your final thoughts?

I believe that to remain competitive, organisations need to develop analytical capabilities in order to maximise the value of data. Knowing where to start and understanding the purpose of your data investment is a good foundation.

No matter where you are on your journey to fully realising the value of data, working with a suitable partner will better equip you to optimise and accelerate returns.


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If you would like to talk more about the challenges and opportunities data presents for your organisation, please get in touch by emailing me or calling 09 977 5836.