Andrew Beale: Constantly Ask Yourself 'How Can We Do This Thing Digitally?'


How do you help organizations become more prosperous by leveraging data, economics and digital opportunities? Ask Andrew Beale.

“Transforming performance through data is my thing, whether talking about people, process, technology, culture, robots, analytics or design,” he explained.

A leader in Washington, DC-based Optimity Advisor’s information management practice, Beale focuses on improvements with regards to revenue, reputation and other important areas for policy makers, regulators, buyers and innovators. Optimity is a worldwide advisory firm that focuses on strategy, operations and IT.

‘Outcomes-Oriented Executive’

Beale, who describes himself as an “outcomes-oriented executive,” has more than 25 years of experience helping companies speedily and competently adapt to change.

He has a diverse client base than spans media, entertainment, insurance, healthcare and other industries — all linked by their collective desire to develop monetization strategies and new business opportunities.

Much of his work involves taking the extensive swath of data available to today’s marketers and using it to craft a narrative that can disrupt orthodox business practices. He believes everyone needs to make digital thinking the priority of their business strategies.

Beale said companies gain fantastic power by leveraging data. But he cautions that everyone should be alert to how it’s being used. By understanding the likely strengths and pitfalls, companies can can make more impactful marketing decisions and tell potent narratives about people and products.

You can hear more of Beale’s thoughts on digital experience at CMSWire’s second annual DX Summit this Nov. 14 through 16 at the Radisson Blu Aqua hotel in Chicago.

Digital Thinking Opens Doors

Walter: What is the main message you plan to deliver at the summit?

Beale: If you aren’t asking yourself the question “How can we do this thing digitally?” you’re probably missing some great opportunities to deliver more customer value, create [intellectual property] and/or reduce costs. While you may not be feeling it yet, the chances are some of your current and unseen competitors will be asking themselves precisely these sorts of questions.

Walter: Optimity recently ran a blog post on the network effect. It noted, the “capacity to access collective intelligence is the defining transformative phenomenon of the digital age. This digital transformation has given rise to what can best be described as the network effect: the fundamental architectural shift from hierarchies to networks. Those who have the courage to embrace the network effect quickly discover that hierarchies are no match for networks, especially in a hyper-connected world.” In simple terms, what does this mean?

Beale: We need to realize the world has changed. The old world order of hierarchies is dying as they are too slow to respond. It’s already happened in publishing and media, and some organizations in more traditional industries are starting to face up to the need to change. They see the network effect as a way to differentiate themselves and take a leading position.

Walter: How do businesses deal with the volume and velocity of data today?

Beale: While data storage is getting cheaper it is still a cost. The real issue is to take a risk based approach to your housekeeping, and ensure you are and can in the future, leverage the data that you do retain. This is about metadata, search, taxonomy and creating ways to leverage these digital assets.

Walter: What are some core concepts behind digital transformation?

Beale: Have a very broad view on what your assets. Put your customers at the center of your efforts. And accept the fact there are no holy cows (i.e. people, organizations, institution, etc. that are exempt from criticism or questioning.)

Walter: What do you do to unwind or recharge?

Beale: Climbing mountains with the kids and training for the Etape du Tour (an organized event for amateur cyclist that uses the same route as aTour de France stage. First held in 1993, it takes place each July.)


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