BI Trends

5 Reasons Why Every Organization Should Hold a Datathon

If you think datathons and hackathons are just for tech companies—or that disruptive is a bad word for business—think again.

Every organization is in a race right now to transform its products and customer experience and discover new business models. If your organization isn’t regularly thinking about ways to achieve transformational growth and be the disruptor rather than the disrupted, it’s time to set aside a day (or two!) to take a look at your data and come up with your business’ next big idea.

While hackathons may seem too technical for some in the organization, datathons, like design thinking exercises, can engage everyone. With today’s tools, employees, customers, partners, and other stakeholders can all collaborate to generate new insights and ideas.

MicroStrategy held its first public datathon at MicroStrategy World this year. We wanted to show how accessible modern analytics solutions are to any user. We also wanted to show how even those with little BI and analytics experience can quickly create compelling applications that drive business value, as long as they approach the challenge with creativity. Customers, partners, students, and other users were all invited to have fun and get creative with their data. The result? Stunning, intuitive, and thoughtful new applications that all came about in a couple of days.

As the datathon overall winner, the one man team of Dante Martinez, CEO of OnTime BI, combined telemetry, BI, and analytics to create an app that tracks a business’ equipment utilization, but has the ability to track millions of assets - and he did this in just eight hours!

 

As the people’s choice winner, a team from Third I built an app that gives management a clear view into the business, complete with company, location and department scorecards, correlated KPIs and trend analytics, and an enhanced user experience with intuitive navigation.

 

Why Every Organization Should Hold a Datathon

With brands across all industries being challenged by disruption, the future belongs to those that can quickly analyze and act on data to drive new value. In a recent survey, 85% of enterprise decision makers said they feel they have just two years to make significant inroads on digital transformation before suffering financially and/or falling behind their competitors.

A datathon accelerates transformational growth in five key ways:

1) Cultivates a culture of innovation: Datathons help inspire engaged and innovative thinking, as well as cross-department collaboration on new ideas.

2) Inspires an Intelligent Enterprise: By 2020, almost all roles will require some type of data and analytics skills. Datathons give employees a fun, hands-on introduction to analytics to help inspire a data-driven culture.

3) Reveals top talent: Datathons uncover innovative and big picture thinkers (who may not be in analytics roles) but can help the organization surface and utilize insights in new and creative ways. Datathons used as or at recruiting events also help organizations find their future analytics all-stars.

4) Generates potential new business models: When you empower all members of an organization to explore the art of the possible and exchange ideas, amazing things can happen.

5) Delivers in days: The time limitation is what makes a datathon a powerful tool for quickly bringing to light new ideas.

Still need convincing? PwC’s Innovation Benchmark Report shows that organizations engaging their employees, customers, partners, and suppliers in innovative ideation are twice as likely to expect growth of 15% or more over the next five years.

At MicroStrategy, we’re committed to cultivating cultures of innovation and encouraging more employees to be data-driven. This involves hackathons, datathons, and other fun, collaborative ideation events. In developing more and future data-skilled talent, we look forward to participation from the academic community and future data scientists as we unveil our MicroStrategy on AWS for Academics program across the country this year. This program will complement our existing Desktop for Academics offering, where instructors and students have access to the full breadth of MicroStrategy’s enterprise platform functionalities at no cost. By giving more individuals facetime with our platform and its capabilities, we are investing in more and more future users who will embrace data and analytics as a transformational tool.

Want to join us in creating and empowering more and more Intelligent Enterprises? Read about the makeup of an Intelligent Enterprise here. Ready to get started? Download the free MicroStrategy Desktop here.

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