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Harnessing data for business transformation pays off – a free tools package now available to companies 

Data is a significant enabler of new business in SMEs. Sitra has developed a programme targeting at business transformation as well as tools for developing data-based services. The materials are now openly available to everyone. 

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Laura Seppälä

Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs, Sitra

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The Growth from Data programme developed by Sitra provides Finnish companies with information and tools that support the development of services with the help of data. With the materials and tools created in the programme, companies and various training or coaching providers can carry out the coaching flexibly. The programme is especially intended for the SME sector and targets at the data-based transformation of business. The materials provide a comprehensive package of information about data economy and the tools include various templates, benchmark materials and videos, among other things. 

Tourism and restaurant sector on the path to change 

The tools and materials package is currently used in the business transformation of companies in the tourism and restaurant sector. This year, the Finnish Information Society Development Centre (TIEKE) is coaching the companies of the sector in the development of data-based services. The pandemic had an unprecedented impact on the tourism and restaurant sector and now the war in Ukraine is likely to deal another blow to tourism. New solutions are needed and the opportunities offered by technology must be taken seriously.  
 
“You cannot rest on your laurels. Operations must be transformed and developed to respond to changing customer expectations. With the materials developed by Sitra, companies can find new opportunities and be inspired to try out new services,” says Jari Salo, who is responsible for the Growth from Data programme at TIEKE. 
 
Data boosts companies’ competitiveness 
 
The need for information about data-based business is high in SMEs and they need support on their journey of development. Sitra’s work with a fair data economy responds to companies’ need for data sharing tools and rules as well as their desire to boost their competitiveness with data. The value of data for competitiveness is not properly understood in Finland yet.  
 
“Data is one of the most important raw materials but we do not yet know how to use it to a sufficient extent. The better use of data means better services, better customer experience, better productivity of work and, as a result, better competitiveness. It is also a key means to realising the digital and green transition,” says Sitra’s Project Director Jyri Arponen
 
Coaching according to the company’s needs   
 
With the aid of the Growth from Data programme, a company can identify how it can develop new data-based services and determine the capabilities needed in the change. The process starts with small steps – carrying out small-scale experiments first and learning from them. Each company may choose their own level of ambition.  “In practice, the programme offers an opportunity to develop business on the basis of data according to each company’s specific needs. Sitra offers coaching providers expert support to help them get started so don’t hesitate to contact us,” says Arponen. 

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Senior Lead, Business Development, Circular Economy, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra

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